Suntory time for Jim Beam as Japanese taste for whisky grows

What with Amec's £1.9bn move for Foster Wheeler and Goldcorp's $2.6bn offer for rival Osisko, today was already shaping up to be the biggest merger Monday in some time.
But Japanese investment firm Suntory Holdings just blew everyone out of the water by making a $16bn (£9.74bn) bid for Beam - the NYSE-listed maker of Jim Beam bourbon and Laphroaig scotch.
Suntory already has a pretty impressive line up of Japanese whiskies, including Yamazaki and Hakushu single malts, and is aiming to double its overseas shipments to 3.6m bottles by 2016.
It will pay $83.50 per share in cash for the Illinois headquartered company, a 25 per cent premium to Beam's closing price on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
This isn't the first tie-up between the two firms. Suntory already distributes Beam products in Japan, while Beam distributes Suntory’s products in Singapore and other Asian markets.
“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," said Nobutada Saji, president and chairman of Suntory's Board.