Suntory takes $16 billion swig of Beam

Japanese outbound M&A off to a heady start as Suntory buys Beam for $16 billion, placing Morgan Stanley at the top of league tables.

Suntory, the Japanese beverage group, has bought US whisky maker Beam for $16 billion, catapulting the company into the US market in the second largest liquor MA deal on record.

The deal reflects Japanese companies’ thirst for offshore acquisitions after lacklustre volumes in 2013.  Japanese outbound MA chalked was $52.5 billion in 2013, down 53% from the record high of $111 billion in 2012, according to Dealogic.

“Last year, Japanese outbound MA volume was significantly lower, so some people thought that the bid from Japanese companies was no longer there,” said Kenji Kimura, global head of MA at Nomura. “But we...

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