Jim Beam, neat, is company's new strategy

By Aaron Smith, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Jim Beam bourbon maker Fortune Brands said Wednesday that it will focus on its liquor business, spinning off or selling other parts of the company, including home furnishings and Titleist golf products.

Fortune Brands said its board voted to separate the three parts of the company. The company will focus solely on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the business unit that it describes as the leading U.S.-based liquor company. The unit, with $2.5 billion in annual sales, produces Knob Creek, Maker's Mark, Cruzan, Courvoisier, Canadian Club, Teacher's Scotch and other brands.

The company said it will spin off to shareholders its Home & Security unit, including faucet-producer Moen and MasterBrand Cabinets, as well as Master Lock. The unit, which has $3 billion in annual revenue, will become an independent, publicly traded company.

Fortune Brands said it will sell its golf unit, the Acushnet Company, which produces Titleist golf balls and FootJoy shoes and gloves. The unit has $1.2 billion in annual revenue.

Fortune Brands' (FO, Fortune 500) stock rose about 3% in premarket trading.

"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, chief executive of Fortune Brands. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,912.11 -70.48 -0.42%
Nasdaq 4,442.70 -2.21 -0.05%
S&P 500 1,969.95 -8.96 -0.45%
Treasuries 2.46 -0.03 -1.16%
Data as of 1:15am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Frontier Communicati... 6.79 0.85 14.31%
Windstream Holdings ... 11.83 1.30 12.35%
AT&T Inc 36.59 0.94 2.64%
CenturyLink Inc 39.90 2.19 5.81%
Bank of America Corp... 15.34 -0.16 -1.03%
Data as of Jul 29

Sections

McDonald's may be liable for worker lawsuits, not just franchisees, in a government ruling that could change the fast-food business. More

Amgen is the latest to continue corporate America's cost cutting strategy, even as the economy is supposedly on the mend More

Bunch o Balloons allows multiple water balloons to be filled at once. Parents are loving it -- to the tune of $645,000. More

Steve Mason, a pastor from California, inherited more than $100,000 in student loan debt when his 27-year-old daughter died suddenly in 2009. With interest and late penalties, the debt has since ballooned to $200,000. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.