Business

Beam being acquired by Japan’s Suntory

Sales of bourbon have been rising, boosting Beam Inc., which makes Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam. The firm’s central distillery, which features a visitors’ center, is in Clermont, Ky.
Sales of bourbon have been rising, boosting Beam Inc., which makes Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam. The firm’s central distillery, which features a visitors’ center, is in Clermont, Ky.Bruce Schreiner/Associated Press/File 2012

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NEW YORK — The maker of classic American whiskeys Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark has agreed to be acquired by a Japanese company in a $13.62 billion deal that would create the third-largest global premium spirits business.

Shares of Beam Inc. rose 24 percent on Monday after it said it agreed to be purchased by Suntory Holdings Ltd. The combined company would have annual sales of about $4.3 billion.

The deal follows other recent acquisitions in the alcohol industry, including Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $20.1 billion deal last year to buy the other half of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it did not already own.

It also comes as the taste for bourbon — a type of American whiskey that is made primarily of corn and typically distilled in Kentucky — continues to grow domestically and abroad.

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