Cooley Distillery gets new owner as Japan's Suntory buys Beam
Ireland's second largest whiskey maker will soon have a new owner.
Suntory Holdings said it planned to buy Cooley Distillery owner Beam for $13.6bn (€9.9bn) in cash to make the Japanese company the world's third-largest maker of distilled drinks.
Beam bought the Cooley Distillery and brands such as Kilbeggan and Greenore for around €74m two years ago.
Cooley's flagship Kilbeggan brand has since joined the ranks of Beam's Rising Star brands, which the US company is promoting strongly in Asia.
Beam owns Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntory's Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin Japanese whiskies, Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.
Suntory said Beam's chief executive Matt Shattock and the Beam management team would continue to lead the business. The two had a business relationship under which Suntory distributes Beam products in Japan and Beam distributes Suntory's products in Singapore and other Asian markets.
Suntory intends to fund the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and fully committed financing from The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley is acting as financial adviser to Suntory, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is acting as legal adviser.
Centerview Partners and Credit Suisse are serving as financial advisers to Beam and Sidley Austin is serving as legal adviser. (Reuters)