Beam Suntory

Beam Suntory, Inc. is a subsidiary of Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd, which itself is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan. Its headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois. It is the third largest producer of distilled beverages worldwide behind Diageo and Pernod Ricard. They acquired 20 brands from Allied Domecq worth $5bn in 2005,[3] which has turned them into one of the largest producers of whiskey in the international market.[4]

Beam Suntory
IndustryDistilled beverages
FoundedOctober 4, 2011 (2011-10-04)
FounderRemainder company created from Fortune Brands
Area served
Key people
Albert Baladi, President & CEO
RevenueUS$3.1 billion [1]
Number of employees
4800 [2]

The company's principal products include bourbon whiskey, tequila, Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, Canadian whisky, vodka, cognac, rum, cordials, and ready-to-drink pre-mixed cocktails.


James Beam began selling barrels of whiskey in 1795. By 1935, his family's business was formally established the James B. Beam Distilling Company. Ten years later, the Chicago spirits merchant Harry Blum bought the company, and in 1968 sold it to American Brands, Inc. In 1987, the James B. Beam Distilling Company purchased National Distillers and renamed itself the Jim Beam Brands Company. It was known as Jim Beam Brands Worldwide, Inc., by the time Fortune Brands purchased it in 2005.[5] The following year, the company was renamed Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. It was split from Fortune Brands to become an independent publicly traded company, Beam Inc., in 2011. Three years later, it was purchased by Suntory Holdings.[6]

As a distinct entity, the company was established as Beam Inc. on October 3, 2011, from the remainder of the Fortune Brands holding company after it sold and divested various other product lines to form a business focused exclusively on spirits and directly related products.[7]

On December 16, 2011, Beam Inc., agreed to buy the only independent Irish whiskey distiller that existed at the time, the Cooley Distillery, for $95 million.[8] On April 23, 2012, Beam announced it would acquire the Pinnacle vodka and Calico Jack rum brands for $600 million.[9]

On January 13, 2014, Suntory announced a deal to buy Beam Inc. for about $13.6 billion.[10] The acquisition was completed on April 30, 2014, for a final cost of about $16 billion – when it was also announced that Beam would become a subsidiary named "Beam Suntory."[11][12] Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (2587). The acquisition created a culture shock within the company when Japanese managers implied that the American-made Jim Beam whisky could be improved with the kaizen Japanese technique of continual improvement.[4]

In November 2015, Beam Suntory sold its sherry and brandy brands Fundador, Harveys, Terry y Tres Cepas to the Philippines-owned group Emperador for 275 million euros.[13][14]

In March 2016, the company announced it would move its headquarters to the Merchandise Mart building on Chicago's Near North Side;[15] Beam Suntory is subleasing 110,000 sq. ft on the 16th floor of the Mart from Motorola Mobility.[16]

The Chicago Cubs and Beam Suntory announced a long-term sponsorship deal in January 2017, making Beam the official spirits partner of the Cubs and Wrigley Field.[17]


The company's self-produced brands include the following:

In addition to brands produced directly by the company and its subsidiaries, Beam Suntory imports and markets some brands produced by others, such as the DeKuyper cordial. Beam facilities also produce spirits for brands owned by other companies, such as Calvert Extra blended whiskey, now owned by Luxco.

The company also previously sold Harveys Bristol Cream sherry, as well as the brandy brands Fundador, Terry Centenario, and Tres Cepas, before selling these brands to Grupo Emperador Spain S.A., part of the Alliance Global Group.[20][21]

In the 2003 Sofia Coppola movie Lost in Translation, actor Bill Murray goes to Japan to shoot a commercial for the Suntory whisky and drops the now famous slogan, "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time."[22]

See also


  1. "Owler". Owler.
  2. "Beam, Inc. (BEAM)-Key Statistics". Yahoo! Finance.
  3. "Beam Suntory | Scotch Whisky". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  4. Kana Inagaki (14 June 2016). "Beam Suntory: A volatile Japanese-US blend". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  5. "Jim Beam parent to buy Maker's Mark owner". Louisville Business First. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  6. "History". (slideshow) Beam Suntory. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  7. "Beam Inc. Begins Life as a Pure-Play Spirits Industry Leader". October 4, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  8. (December 16, 2011). "Cooley Distillery Sold for $95M". Irish Examiner. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  9. "Beam buys Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack rum from White Rock". USA Today. Associated Press. April 23, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  10. Horovitz, Bruce (January 13, 2014). "Suntory buys spirits maker Beam for $13.6B". USA Today.
  11. Beam Suntory completes acquisition of Beam Inc,, 30 April 2014.
  12. Pfanner, Eric (May 15, 2014). "Suntory Still has M&A Thirst". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  13. "Beam Suntory vende por 275 millones sus negocios de brandy y jerez en España al grupo dueño de Torre Espacio". (in Spanish). 30 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  14. "UPDATE 1-Philippines' group to buy Beam Suntory brands for 275 mln euros". 30 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  15. Frost, Peter (February 29, 2016). "Beam Suntory moving HQ to Merchandise Mart". Crain's Chicago Business.
  16. Beam Suntory opens Merchandise Mart headquarters Chicago Tribune December 5, 2016
  17. Cubs strike long-term sponsorship deal with Beam Suntory Chicago Tribune January 12, 2017
  18. "Beam Suntory launches Hornitos Cristalino triple-distilled tequila". 6 October 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  19. Rebecca Sterritt (15 June 2015). "A bourbon-Scotch fusion from Beam Suntory". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  20. Arceo-Dumlao, Tina (December 1, 2015). "Andrew Tan's Emperador buys Spain's Fundador". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  21. Eads, Lauren (November 30, 2015). "Beam Suntory Sells Sherry and Brandy Business for €275 million". The Drinks Business. London, England: Union Press Ltd. Archived from the original on December 12, 2015.
  22. John Kell (6 April 2015). "Suntory hopes it's now 'Suntory time' in America". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
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