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Beam Execs To Depart As Suntory Reportedly Mulls Moving Drinks Headquarters To U.S.

April 21, 2014

Beam Inc. disclosed in a regulatory filing late Friday that three senior executives would be stepping down as the company prepares for its pending takeover by Suntory in the coming weeks. Bill Newlands, Beam’s president, North America; CFO Robert Probst and corporate controller Leo Mierzwicki will all be resigning from their current positions, with Mierzwicki to depart July 10 and Newlands and Probst to leave May 31. Newlands will continue consulting for Beam’s North America unit three days a week.

Meanwhile, with Suntory on track to complete its $16 billion acquisition of Beam the week of April 28, The Japan News reports that the company is preparing to shift the headquarters of its beverage alcohol business to the U.S., change its name to Beam Suntory, and place current Beam CEO Matt Shattock at its helm. The board of Beam Suntory will include officials from the Japanese parent company, including Suntory Liquors president Yasunori Aiba, the report said.

The move is said to be intended as a way for Suntory to drive international sales of its Hibiki and Yamazaki whiskies and namesake beer through Beam’s existing global sales network. Suntory’s local Japanese drinks unit would be grouped within Beam Suntory, but oversee its own sales and product development for the home market. Beam declined to comment on the matter, saying only, “We’ll have further announcements related to the transaction in due course.”

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