Jim Beam Bought By Japan's Suntory Company: What Else Isn't Actually American?

The Japanese are getting serious about their whiskey: Beverage giant Suntory has purchased Beam, Inc. for $16 million — a sum worth 25 percent more than the company's actual value. The deal means Suntory will take on the American group's debt (though it's unlikely Bill Murray will be doing any commercial spots for them anytime soon). The deal, which includes Knob Creek, Maker's Mark, Teacher's, and Courvoisier, will now make Suntory the third-largest producer of distilled drinks in the world.

Click on for more iconic brands that aren't actually American.

Trader Joe's

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Trader Joe’s, our nation’s favorite grocery store, is actually a sister company of the discount grocer Aldi, which is based in Essen, Germany. (Bit of a shocker for a place that looks so tropical.) Owner Aldi Nord’s been in the news lately for an alleged whale-murdering scandal, but Nord plans to continue expansion in the U.S. with 50 percent more Aldi’s opening over the next five years (we can only hope the Trader Joe’s spread, too).

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Goose Island

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InBev, the massive drinks conglomerate that was a product of a Brazilian-Belgian merger, finished its takeover of the world’s more well-known brands (Stella Artois, Corona, Leffe, et al) and has now moved on to the little guys. The company bought out Chicago craft powerhouse Goose Island, famous for their eponymous IPA and 312.

Beer enthusiasts were both excited about the purchase (more places to buy it) but also disheartened (why can’t the big guy leave the little guy alone?). Two years after the purchase, the only changes made to America’s first liquor-barrel-aged beer is a health and safety line down the factory floor. Socialists.

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French's Mustard

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Naturally, it makes complete sense that a mustard called French’s that has a French flag on it isn’t actually French. (So not chic). But French’s isn’t even American. It’s British.

Nevertheless, French’s still likes to pretend it’s American. During the whole anti-French craze of the early naughts — when restaurants were selling “freedom fries” and “freedom toast” — French’s had a little something to say: “For the record, French’s would like to say there is nothing more American than French’s Mustard,” the company said.

Except, well, you know.

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New York's Skyline

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Well, part of it, anyway. The Chrysler building, the ArtDeco belle of the New York City skyline, was purchased by Abu Dhabi investments in 2008 for $800 million.

And while we’re on the subject of Manhattan’s architectural icons, turns out the Flatiron building is owned by an Italian real-estate investor. And uptown at Eliose’s playground, the Plaza Hotel passed from Israeli hands to Indian and Saudi owners.

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Ben & Jerry's

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What was once just a $12,000 start-up in Vermont run by two guys with beards, a bromance, and a passion for ice cream was acquired by Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever (they own everything — actually everything) in 2000 for $326 million. At least now the message of the Karamel Sutra can be spread internationally.

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AMC

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Business tycoon Wang Jianlin bought the U.S.’s second-largest movie theater chain, AMC, for a cool $2.2 billion back in 2012 — a paltry sum that amounts to just about 10 percent of China’s richest man’s $22 billion fortune. (Viewers spend more than $10 billion each year on tickets.)

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