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Few Changes Expected as Japanese Firm Suntory Holdings Acquires Jim Beam and Maker's Mark

by The Drink Nation on Jan 14, 2014 in Liquor

In a $13.62 billion deal announced this week, Japanese-based Suntory Holdings Ltd. will acquire Beam Inc., makers of iconic American whiskies Jim Beam and Makers Mark. According to reports, the acquisition is one of the largest takeovers in the history of the booze business. The addition of Beam, which was spurred by bourbon’s ballooning popularity, makes Suntory the world’s third largest distiller.

While news of this mega-merger will surely have some bourbon drinkers feeling a little uneasy about the future of their preferred spirit, insiders say there’s nothing to fear. Though the owners names and the mailing addresses will change, the products themselves will remain the same.

According to the Associated Press, the real value of Beam is in the products its produces. So no changes in production are expected. The story quotes Beam spokesman Clarkson Hine saying, “ It’s business as usual,” and that the company will “keep doing what we're doing."

In years past both Four Roses and Wild Turkey were similarly acquired by foreign owned firms — Japan’s Kirin Brewery Co. bought Four Roses in 2002, and Italian owned Gruppo Campari picked up Wild Turkey in 2009. Neither brand has experienced much in the way of changes, but both have seen tremendous growth in sales.  

Photo: Flickr user robthurman


Tags: Bourbon, News, Spirits
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