EUROPEAN regulators have given the go-ahead to the near-£10 billion acquisition of Beam Inc by Japanese drinks giant Suntory.

As a result the deal, which will see Scotch whisky brands Teacher's, Laphroaig and Ardmore join Morrison Bowmore in the Suntory stable, is now expected to formally complete before the end of the month.

Matt Shattock, president of Beam, said the regulatory clearance from the European Commission was a major step and the companies have been working together to try to ensure a smooth integration process.

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