Suntory Buying Spirits Maker Jim Beam

By Associated Press | 

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An iconic Kentucky original is being sold to a foreign company.

Japanese beverage giant Suntory Holdings has agreed to purchase American spirits maker Jim Beam. The all-cash deal is valued at $16-billion. Beam stock shot up in premarket trading today after the deal was announced.

Suntory is known for Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskies and Midori liqueur, as well as beers, wines, and soft drinks.

Beam is produced in Clermont, Kentucky, and is known for its brand-name products including Jim Beam bourbon, Maker's Mark whisky, and Courvoisier cognac.

Suntory already distributes Beam's products in Japan. Beam distributes Suntory's products in Singapore and other Asian markets. Both companies' boards unanimously approved the transaction, which is targeted to close in the second quarter. It needs approval from Beam Inc. stockholders.

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