Bill Ackman had a rough and controversial 2013 but 2014 appears to be starting much better. Today it was announced that Beam Inc. (BEAM) was being taken over by Japanese whiskey and beer maker Suntory. Ackman helped engineer the spin-off of Beam from Fortune Brands with the idea that BEAM would likely be a hot target for one of the larger spirits makers. This investment thesis certainly came true. Suntory is paying a rich price but the key is synergies in distribution. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if one of the larger companies made a higher bid for BEAM and I think it is a compelling arbitrage play from here.