First Big Deal of 2014
Was William A. Ackman, founder of the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, who ushered in the first big deal of 2014: Suntory’s takeover of Beam Inc.
Under pressure from Mr. Ackman, Fortune sold the golf business to a group led by Fila Korea and a South Korean private equity firm for about $1.2 billion in 2010.
It later spun off its home products division – including Moen faucets and Master Lock – to shareholders, creating a company with a current market value of about $7.8 billion.
What was left became Beam, whose shelf of spirit brands includes its namesake Jim Beam bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch whisky and Courvoisier cognac. The company’s stock price has climbed nearly 24 percent since becoming independent in October of 2011, giving it a market value of $10.9 billion as of Friday.
Even before the breakup of Fortune, its liquor arm had been the subject of takeover speculation. Indeed, at least one major competitor had made informal inquiries about buying the business before the spinoffs, a person briefed on the matter said at the time.Source: New York Times