Deerfield, Illinois, April 26, 2011 – 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 BEAM INC.:
Beam is one of the world’s largest premium spirits companies, encompassing a portfolio of nearly 100 brands (including 10 of the world’s top-100 premium spirits brands), more than a dozen global operating and commercial facilities and 3,200 employees worldwide. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Teacher's® Scotch Whisky, Maker's Mark® Bourbon, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, Hornitos ™ Tequila, EFFEN® Vodka, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, DeKuyper® Cordials, Knob Creek® Bourbon and Skinnygirl® Cocktails. Growth through innovation is a key strategy at Beam Global, with Red Stag by Jim Beam® Bourbon, Cruzan® 9 Spiced Rum, Maker’s 46™ Bourbon and Courvoisier® 12 Cognac and Courvoisier® 21 Cognac all being launched as new products over the past two years. Beam is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company.