|Predecessor||Beam Global Spirits & Wine|
|Founded||2011(as Beam Inc.)|
(President & CEO)
Number of employees
It is the third largest producer of distilled beverages worldwide, behind Diageo and Pernod Ricard. 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 as 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. Fortune Brands also acquired 20 brands from Allied Domecq in 2005, worth $5 billion, which turned Fortune Brands into one of the largest producers of whiskey in the international market.
In 2006, 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.
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.
In December 2011, Beam Inc. agreed to buy the only independent Irish whiskey distiller that existed at the time, the Cooley Distillery, for $95 million. On April 23, 2012, Beam announced it would acquire the Pinnacle vodka and Calico Jack rum brands for $600 million.
In January 2014, Suntory announced a deal to buy Beam Inc. for about $13.6 billion. The acquisition was completed in April 2014, for a final cost of about $16 billion, when it was announced that Beam would become a subsidiary named "Beam Suntory." 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.
In March 2016, the company announced it would move its headquarters to the Merchandise Mart building on Chicago's Near North Side; Beam Suntory is subleasing 110,000 sq. ft on the 16th floor of the Mart from Motorola Mobility.
The company's self-produced brands include the following:
- Bourbon whiskey: Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Old Grand-Dad, Old Crow, Baker's, Basil Hayden's, Booker's, Knob Creek
- Rye whiskey: Jim Beam Rye, Knob Creek Rye, Old Overholt, (rī)1
- Blended American whiskey: Kessler, Beam's Eight Star
- Scotch whisky: Single malt Scotch (Laphroaig, Bowmore, Ardmore, Auchentoshan), Blended Scotch whisky (Teacher's Highland Cream)
- Irish whiskey: Single malt Irish whiskey (The Tyrconnell, Connemara), Single grain Irish whiskey (Greenore), Blended Irish whiskey (Kilbeggan, 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey)
- Canadian whisky: Alberta Premium, Canadian Club, Tangle Ridge, Windsor Canadian
- Spanish whisky: DYC whisky
- Japanese whisky: Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki, Oaksmith Gold Whisky, Chita, Suntory Whisky Toki.
- Tequila: Sauza, Hornitos de Sauza, El Tesoro de Don Felipe, Tres Generaciones
- Cognac: Courvoisier, Salignac, Branson
- Vodka: Pinnacle, VOX, Wolfschmidt, Gilbey's, Effen, Haku, Kamchatka
- Rum: Cruzan, Calico Jack, Ronrico
- Gin: Larios, Gilbey's, Calvert, Sipsmith, Roku
- Liqueur: Starbucks Liqueurs, After Shock, Castellana, Sourz
- Bourbon-Scotch fusion: Jim Beam Kentucky Dram
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 and the coffee liqueur Kamora. 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. In 2021, the Kamora and Leroux brands were sold to Minnesota-based Phillips Distilling.
In popular culture
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."
In October, 2020, Beam Suntory Inc. agreed to pay a criminal monetary penalty of $19,572,885 to resolve a United States department’s investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The resolution arose in part out of Beam’s scheme to pay a bribe to an Indian government official in exchange for approval of a license to bottle a line of products that Beam sought to market and sell in India, and related internal controls and books and records violations, which included efforts by a then-member of Beam’s legal department to affirmatively avoid uncovering information related to improper activities and practices by third-parties engaged by Beam in India that presented corruption risks. Beam entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois in connection with criminal information unsealed in the Northern District of Illinois charging Beam with one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery, internal controls, and books and records provisions of the FCPA. 
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- Pfanner, Eric (May 15, 2014). "Suntory Still has M&A Thirst". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
- "Beam Suntory vende por 275 millones sus negocios de brandy y jerez en España al grupo dueño de Torre Espacio". Eleconomista.es (in Spanish). 30 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- "UPDATE 1-Philippines' group to buy Beam Suntory brands for 275 mln euros". Reuters.com. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- Frost, Peter (February 29, 2016). "Beam Suntory moving HQ to Merchandise Mart". Crain's Chicago Business.
- Beam Suntory opens Merchandise Mart headquarters Chicago Tribune December 5, 2016
- Cubs strike long-term sponsorship deal with Beam Suntory Chicago Tribune January 12, 2017
- Rebecca Sterritt (15 June 2015). "A bourbon-Scotch fusion from Beam Suntory". Thedrinksreport.com. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- Arceo-Dumlao, Tina (December 1, 2015). "Andrew Tan's Emperador buys Spain's Fundador". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- 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.
- Carruthers, Nicola (2021-11-02). "Phillips Distilling buys liqueur brands from Beam Suntory". The Spirits Business. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
- John Kell (6 April 2015). "Suntory hopes it's now 'Suntory time' in America". Fortune.com. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- "Beam Suntory Inc. Agrees to Pay over $19 Million to Resolve Criminal Foreign Bribery Case". 27 October 2020.