Japan's Suntory buys Jim Beam drinks group in $16bn deal
Japanese family-owned drinks firm Suntory is to buy the US beverage group Beam Inc, the company behind the Jim Bean bourbon brand.For those that sneer at Jim Beam, remember that Maker's Mark is also owned by the company. So now that is Japanese as well... Call me old-fashioned if you will, but throwing more than 200 years of American tradition away just isn't right. Jim Beam has been a uniquely American brand for only slightly less time than there has been an America.
Under the deal, worth $16bn (£9.7bn) in all, Suntory will pay $13.6bn in cash and take on Beam's debt.
Now, I have to wonder if this means that, technically, there will be no more bourbon whiskey. Since one of the requirements for a distilled spirit to be called "bourbon" is that it be made in the USA, if the new owners of Jim Beam decide to consolidate efforts and ship the process overseas, it's possible we will see the end of bourbon as it is currently known.
As a writer, I cannot even begin to tell you how sad this makes me...
That is all.