Fortune Brands to Split Into Three

By FOXBusiness

Fortune Brands (NYSE:FO) unveiled its plan Wednesday to split into three separate consumer businesses targeting distilled spirits, home and security, and golf products.

The maker of Jim Beam whiskey, Titleist golf balls and Moen faucets said the plan would keep Fortune Brands as an independent, publicly-traded company focused solely on its liquor brands.

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With $2.5 billion in annual revenue, Beam Global Spirits & Wine is the largest US-based spirits company and the fourth-largest in the world. The division also makes brands such as Canadian club whiskey, Cruzan rum and Sauza tequila.

Fortune’s home and security business, with annual sales exceeding $3 billion, will be spun-off tax-free to shareholders into an independent, publicly-traded company, while its golf business, with $1.2 billion in annual revenue, will either be spun-off or sold.

In a statement, the Deerfield, Ill-based company said each business has “leading consumer brands and excellent growth and returns potential,” enabling them to create “significant value for shareholders” on their own.

Fortune Brands CEO Bruce Carbonari said the decision follows an “ongoing strategic review process” over the last four years that evaluated the separation.

“While the breadth and balance of our portfolio have served shareholders very well, we see the potential for even greater value by separating our businesses into focused companies at a time when they have emerged from the economic downturn in such strong positions,” he said.

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