Suntory Holdings Ltd., the closely held Japanese whiskey and beer maker, said it will buy Beam Inc. for $16 billion to gain brands such as Maker’s Mark whiskey and create the world’s third-largest premium spirits company.

Shareholders in the Deerfield, Illinois-based maker of Jim Beam and Canadian Club liquor will receive $83.50 in cash per share, the Tokyo-based company said today in a statement. That compares with Beam’s last closing price of $66.97.

The purchase will help Suntory boost overseas growth to offset a shrinking home population.

“Strategically, it makes sense for Suntory,” said Trevor Stirling, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London. “I’m a little surprised they decided to go it alone, but at the moment you have a strong yen and low interest rates.”

Bloomberg News reported in December 2012 that Suntory had considered making an offer for Beam alongside Diageo, the world’s biggest distiller.

The acquisition has “very little cost synergies,” Stirling said, but allows Suntory greater exposure to the U.S., the world’s most profitable spirits market, and to expand Beam’s brands in faster-growing Asian markets.

The $16 billion purchase price includes assumption of Beam’s outstanding net debt, according to the statement. The company has $2 billion in total debt, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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