Japanese Company Finalizes Jim Beam Purchase To The Delight Of Bill Ackman

1/13/14 11:10AM EST

Japanese Company Finalizes Jim Beam Purchase To The Delight Of Bill Ackman Japanese Company Finalizes Jim Beam Purchase To The Delight Of Bill Ackman

Image via Flickr/ Joe Shlabotnik

A Japanese brewing and distilling company announced today that it will buy Beam, Inc., the American manufacturer of spirits including Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Suntory Holdings Ltd announced it will pay $13.6 billion in cash for Beam shares, a deal that will make it the third-largest maker of distilled drinks in the world.

I believe this combination will create a spirits business with a product portfolio unmatched throughout the world and allow us to achieve further global growth,” Nobutada Saji, president and chairman of Suntory, said in a statement.

This is also a hugely lucrative deal for Jim Beam, whose stock closed at $66.97 per share Friday. Suntory will now pay $83.50 per share, a 25 percent premium, according to Reuters.

The deal is worth a total $16 billion, after accounting for Suntory’s assumption of Beam’s debt. The companies expect to finalize the purchase in the second quarter, and the current Beam management team will continue to lead the business with the current chief executive Matt Shattock.

Bill Ackman Very Pleased

Shareholders are thrilled with the sale announcement, which is driving stock prices way up. Stocks are currently trading for $83.03 per share, very close to Suntory’s agreed-upon price.

That means major shareholders like Bill Ackman have made a quick buck since Friday. His hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, held about 12.8 percent of the company’s shares as of the latest report on Sept. 30, 2013.

Assuming Pershing Square hasn’t sold any of its 20.8 million shares since then, the shares have earned $371 million in worth since Friday. That’s quite the payday.

 
 

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