(FO) Fortune Brands Splits in Two

The leading consumer brands company Fortune Brands Inc. (FO) announced that following the spin-off of its Home & Security business, the separated companies will trade under two different symbols as independent entities on the New York Stock Exchange.

Post spin-off, the Fortune Brands Home & Security business is proposed to be traded under the symbol ‘FBHS’ while the spirit business will be rechristened Beam Inc. and will replace the current “FO” symbol with “BEAM”.

The company believes that the ticker symbol “BEAM” is the most appropriate, and will surely strike a resonant chord with investors and consumers alike, as it reflects the company’s name, its flagship brand, and a legacy of premium spirits that is internationally renowned.

Recently, Fortune Brands announced its intention to split the company into three standalone units, giving investors pure plays in golf, home products and alcoholic drinks. Moreover, the company revealed that it would spin off its home and security business to shareholders in a tax-free transaction. The radical separation has been the outcome of four years of strategic evaluation conducted by Fortune’s board and management.

The company has also entered into a sale agreement of its Acushnet Company golf business to a group consisting of Fila Korea Ltd. and Mirae Asset Private Equity. The sale, which is expected to reach fruition later this summer, will be worth $1.225 billion.

Fortune Brands looks forward to clinching its strategic restructuring plan, which includes a spin-off or sale and any other related issue for each one of the concerned businesses, at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Fortune Brands is the largest spirits company in the U.S. and the fourth largest in the world. Besides, the company faces intense competition from well-established players in the market such as Diageo plc (DEO) and Brown-Forman Corporation (BF.B) in its spirits business and Masco Corporation (MAS) in its home and hardware business.

Currently, Fortune Brands has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock. We hold a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

BROWN FORMAN B (BF.B): Free Stock Analysis Report

DIAGEO PLC-ADR (DEO): Free Stock Analysis Report

FORTUNE BRANDS (FO): Free Stock Analysis Report

MASCO (MAS): Free Stock Analysis Report

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