Sard Verbinnen & Co and Tokyo’s Ashton Consulting are handling Suntory Holdings’ audacious $13.6B for U.S. bourbon institution Beam Inc.

beamCompletion of the deal for Beam, which traces its roots to the 1795 opening of Jacob Beam’s distillery in Clermont, KY, would power Suntory into the No. 3 spot of global liquor companies behind Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

Kekst and Company represents Beam. Kekst CEO Jim Fingeroth and managing director Wendi Kopsick handle that assignment.

The Japanese company promises to maintain the Deerfield (IL) headquarters of the owner of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek bourbons;Teacher's and Laphroaig Scotch whiskies; Canadian Club whisky; Courvoisier cognac; Sauza tequila, and Pinnacle vodka under the management of CEO  Matt Shattock.

Prior to the deal’s announcement, Suntory and Beam had a distribution pact in place. Suntory handles Beam’s line-up in Japan, while Beam sells Suntory products in Asian markets outside of Japan.

Suntory was founded in Osaka in 1899. It generated $17.6B sales in 2012. Beam chalked up $2.5B in sales the same year.

SV&C’s Jim Barron and Meghan Gavigan work the deal with AC’s John Sunley and Brendan Jennings.