Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Fortune Brands Inc (FBI)

  Print      Mail a friend

Wednesday 10 March, 2010

Fortune Brands Inc

Fortune Brands Announces Agreement to Sell Cobr...

Fortune Brands Announces Agreement to Sell Cobra Golf Brand to PUMA

Fortune Brands, Inc.

Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO) today announced a definitive agreement for the sale of its Cobra golf brand to PUMA AG. The sale includes the Cobra brand, as well as related inventory, intellectual property and endorsement contracts.

“Divesting the Cobra brand will enable us to drive shareholder value by concentrating our golf investments behind Titleist and FootJoy, which represent our highest return growth opportunities in golf,” said Bruce Carbonari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands. “With Titleist and FootJoy, we will continue to have the leading worldwide position in the attractive golf consumer products category, and we are very well positioned to drive growth as the market stabilizes in 2010 and recovers in the years ahead.”

Titleist is the #1 ball in golf and FootJoy is the #1 shoe and glove in golf. As the company’s flagship golf club brand, Titleist generates the majority of the company’s sales in the golf club category. In 2009, Titleist golf club sales grew in a global golf club market that declined at a mid-teens rate.

“With the sale of Cobra, we have the opportunity to devote all of our resources to the global growth of our industry-leading Titleist and FootJoy brands,” said Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet Company, the golf business of Fortune Brands. “As we continue innovating, competing for market share in the U.S. and expanding internationally, we believe Titleist and FootJoy will be the industry’s most powerful platforms for profitable long-term growth. At the same time, Cobra is a strong brand with a heritage of innovation, and we wish the quality associates guiding the brand future success.”

Acushnet will provide transition services to PUMA on behalf of Cobra – including production, distribution, field sales and customer service – for an agreed-upon period of time beyond closing of the sale. All Acushnet employees dedicated to the Cobra brand are expected to become employees of PUMA upon completion of the transaction.

Fortune Brands expects the sale to be approximately two cents dilutive to 2010 earnings per share before a one-time gain on sale of approximately five cents per share. Financial terms of the pending transaction were not immediately disclosed.

The sale is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The companies anticipate the transaction will close early in the second quarter.

About Fortune Brands

Fortune Brands, Inc. is a leading consumer brands company. Its operating companies have premier brands and leading market positions in distilled spirits, home and security, and golf products. Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. is the company's premium spirits business. Major spirits brands include Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon, Sauza tequila, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Cruzan rum, Teacher's and Laphroaig Scotch, EFFEN vodka and DeKuyper cordials. The brands of Fortune Brands Home & Security LLC include Moen faucets, Aristokraft, Omega, Diamond and Kitchen Craft cabinetry, Therma-Tru door systems, Simonton windows, Master Lock security products and Waterloo storage and organization products. Acushnet Company's golf brands include Titleist, FootJoy and Cobra. Fortune Brands, headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FO and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index.

To receive company news releases by e-mail, please visit www.fortunebrands.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements relating to future results, which are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company does not assume any obligation to update, amend or clarify them to reflect events, new information or circumstances occurring after the date of this release. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: general economic conditions, including the U.S. housing and remodeling market; competitive market pressures (including pricing pressures); customer defaults and related bad debt expense; consolidation of trade customers; successful development of new products and processes; ability to secure and maintain rights to intellectual property; risks pertaining to strategic acquisitions and joint ventures, including the potential financial effects and performance of such acquisitions or joint ventures, and integration of acquisitions and the related confirmation or remediation of internal controls over financial reporting; changes related to the company’s spirits business organization, including its U.S. and international distribution structure; ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; weather; risks associated with doing business outside the United States, including currency exchange rate risks; commodity and energy price volatility; costs of certain employee and retiree benefits and returns on pension assets; dependence on performance of distributors and other marketing arrangements; the impact of excise tax increases on distilled spirits; changes in golf equipment regulatory standards and other regulatory developments; potential liabilities, costs and uncertainties of litigation; impairment in the carrying value of goodwill or other acquired intangibles; historical consolidated financial statements that may not be indicative of future conditions and results; interest rate fluctuations; volatility of financial and credit markets, which could affect access to capital for the company, its customers and consumers; any possible downgrades of the company’s credit ratings; as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Fortune Brands, Inc.
Media Relations:
Clarkson Hine
(847) 484-4415
or
Investor Relations:
Tony Diaz
(847) 484-4410


a d v e r t i s e m e n t