Japanese Firm Buys Jim Beam for $13.6B
$13.6B deal set to be 3rd-biggest in industry history
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 13, 2014 11:00 AM CST
In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, photo, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bottles line the counter at the Jim Beam visitors’ center at Clermont, Ky.   (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner)

(Newser) – Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Knob Creek bourbons will soon have a second home in Japan. Beam, the owner of the whiskeys and the world’s fourth-biggest liquor company by sales, has reached a deal to be purchased by Osaka’s Suntory, a family-owned liquor company that’s No. 15 worldwide, the Wall Street Journal reports. The $13.6 billion cash deal is poised to be the third biggest the liquor industry has ever seen, as well as the third-biggest overseas buy by a Japanese firm.

The sale comes as bourbon undergoes a renaissance, the Journal notes: For the first time in almost four decades, US production surpassed 1 million barrels in 2012—thanks in part, perhaps, to Mad Men. Beam is the second-biggest whiskey maker in the US, after Brown-Forman Corp., maker of Jack Daniel’s. Until late 2011, it was a part of Fortune Brands, which also owns Master locks and Moen faucets. The company’s management will continue from Chicago, says Suntory, whose controlling family is Japan’s second-richest, with a net worth of $10.7 billion, Forbes reports.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Japanese Firm Buys Jim Beam for $13.6B is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 2 of 3 comments
Jan 14, 2014 9:16 PM CST
In 2004 the huge conglomerate Interbrew, who were busily scarfing up other name brands breweries, bought out Ambrew. Ambrew is the conglomerate of Anheiser Busch, Not much publicity surfaced about that until they began to lay off workers here in the US. Over 400 laid of workers got the bad news and so did lots of loyal BUD customers. The beer didn't change but the appeal for many was tarnished. " If I want to drink foreign beer then I'll buy one" seemed to be the first responses. To others who had been buying premium foreign brews, noticed a distinct change in the flavor of those beers. They reported that several of them began to taste like Budweiser. Investigation showed the "made in Germany" didn't actually hold "water" (pun intended). Why does it surprise us when these old name brands get snapped up by foreigners. One of my good friends, touring Kentucky,last summer visited the Knob Creek Brewery. He actually got to fill a bottle with their premium bourbon, then had it engraved with my name* while he watched. Will those old time Sour Mash breweries still be here for my great grand sons. I doubt it.
Jan 14, 2014 11:00 AM CST
Think I'll purchase some oak barrels, build a still, purchase some corn, make some mash and age my own. It may not be perfect, but at least it will be american made and owned.