Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Fortune Brands Inc (FBI)

  Print      Mail a friend

Wednesday 27 April, 2011

Fortune Brands Inc

Fortune Brands Progressing Separation Plan, Ann...

  • Following Separation, Ongoing Company to be Re-Named Beam Inc.
  • Home Products Spin-Off to Retain Name Fortune Brands Home & Security
  • Golf Business to Remain Acushnet Company
  • Company Making Excellent Progress on Plan to Separate Businesses

Fortune Brands Progressing Separation Plan, Announces Proposed Names of Independent Businesses

Fortune Brands, Inc.

At the Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) annual meeting of shareholders today, chairman and chief executive officer Bruce Carbonari updated shareholders on the previously announced plan to separate the company’s three businesses.

Carbonari told shareholders that the company is making “excellent progress” towards a potential sale or spin-off of the golf business, a tax-free spin-off of the home and security business, and the establishment of the company as a pure-play spirits business. “We’re continuing to target completing this process in the second half of 2011,” Carbonari said. “We believe that each of these businesses is very well positioned to create significant value for shareholders and that the plan we’ve outlined offers shareholders great opportunities to participate in the substantial upside we see in our businesses.”

Fortune Brands to Operate as Beam Following Separation

Carbonari also announced that, assuming completion of the separation, Fortune Brands will operate under a new name: Beam Inc., which is derived from the current name of the spirits unit, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, and the flagship Jim Beam brand. The corporate name change reflects the company’s intended pure focus on distilled spirits, the pioneering and entrepreneurial family heritage of the iconic Jim Beam brand that dates to 1795, and the strong equity in the trade inherent in the Beam name. Beam will be the world’s fourth largest premium spirits business and the largest U.S.-based spirits company, powered by a portfolio of premium brands including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Sauza, Courvoisier, Canadian Club and Teacher’s. As previously announced, Matt Shattock will continue to lead Beam as president and chief executive officer of the company.

Assuming completion of the spin-off, the Fortune Brands Home & Security unit will retain its name and be the only company associated with the Fortune Brands name once it is spun off and becomes an independent publicly traded company. Fortune Brands Home & Security is a North American leader in its categories, with #1 brands and businesses that include Moen, MasterBrand Cabinets, Therma-Tru and Master Lock. Chris Klein, current president and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands Home & Security, will continue to lead the company following the spin-off.

As previously disclosed, the company is exploring the potential sale or spin-off of its Acushnet Company golf business. The company has no plans to change the name of Acushnet, which is led by chairman and chief executive officer Wally Uihlein.

The separation plan remains subject to completion of detailed separation plans, customary regulatory approvals and final Board approval.

In other developments at the annual meeting, all six directors on the ballot were re-elected to the Board for one-year terms.

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, Skinnygirl margarita 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 and FootJoy. 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; the expiration of government economic stimulus programs; competitive market pressures (including pricing pressures); successful development of new products and processes; consolidation of trade customers; customer defaults and related bad debt expense; unanticipated developments that delay or negatively impact the proposed separation; disruption to operations as a result of the proposed separation; inability of one or more of the businesses to operate independently following the completion of the proposed separation; 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; any possible downgrades of the Company's credit ratings; volatility of financial and credit markets, which could affect access to capital for the Company, its customers and consumers; interest rate fluctuations; commodity and energy price volatility; risks associated with doing business outside the United States, including currency exchange rate risks; ability to secure and maintain rights to intellectual property; inability to attract and retain qualified personnel; changes in golf equipment regulatory standards and other regulatory developments; the status of the U.S. rum excise tax cover-over program; the impact of excise tax increases on distilled spirits; dependence on performance of distributors and other marketing arrangements; costs of certain employee and retiree benefits and returns on pension assets; potential liabilities, costs and uncertainties of litigation; historical consolidated financial statements that may not be indicative of future conditions and results; impairment in the carrying value of goodwill or other acquired intangible assets; and weather; as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

In addition to final Board authorization, the potential separation of Fortune Brands' companies will also be subject to the receipt of a number of customary regulatory approvals and/or rulings, the execution of intercompany agreements and finalization of other related matters. There can be no assurance that any of the proposed transactions will be completed as anticipated or at all.

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