Why Japan's Suntory Is Bidding So Much for Bourbon-Maker Beam

Photograph by Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

The company paying for Bill Murray’s trip to Japan in Lost in Translation is going to be the new owner of Jim Beam bourbon. Suntory, maker of Japanese whiskey and beer, announced on Jan. 13 a $16 billion bid for Beam. Suntory’s offer was so generous, with a 25 percent premium, that the Japanese company probably doesn’t have to worry about getting into a bidding war with any rival. “They paid so much that they might actually have precluded others from joining the fray,” Edward Jones & Co. analyst Jack Russo told Bloomberg News.

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