A family-owned company based out of Osaka, Japan, Suntory was established in 1898. The deal, which still needs to be ratified has Suntory providing $13.6 billion in cash and the assumption of Beam Inc. debt.
Suntory and Beam do have a previous relationship, as each distributes the other's brands in various markets.
Each company has well-known and well-established brands, and there is no plan to alter any of them.
Beam brands include the Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon and Courvoisier cognac. Suntory is best-known for the Japanese whiskey brands Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Midori liqueur and Bowmore Scotch.
This Suntory purchase comes on the heels of a September 2013 purchase of the Ribena and Lucozade brands from GlaxoSmithKline of the UK in a US$2.2 billion deal.
Suntory Whisky bottle and highball glass display. Photo courtesy of Brian Adler (BrianAdler).