Fortune Brands to spin off home products division

Fortune Brands, whose products include Master Lock and Moen, has announced its intention to separate its three consumer businesses --home and security, golf products and distilled spirits -- so it can focus solely on its liquor business as an independently publicly traded company.

The Deerfieled, Ill.-based company also said it will pursue a tax-free spin off to its shareholders of its home and security business as an independent, publicly traded company and the sale or tax-free spin-off of its golf business. 

The board of directors, which made these decisions unanimously, has directed management to develop detailed separation plans for consideration and final approval by the board, according to the announcement. The company expects to complete development of these plans -- including the structure, timing, and other related matters for each business -- within the next several months.

“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,” said Bruce Carbonari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands. “We believe now is the right time to move ahead with this tax-efficient approach, and we're confident the course we've outlined today generates greater potential long-term value than all other alternatives."

Fortune Brands, Inc. 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 home and security brands 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. Golf brands include Titleist and FootJoy.