Thursday, September 01, 2011

Beam To Start Trading As Standalone October 4

(by Shanken News Daily) Fortune Brands’ board has approved final plans to spin off the company’s home and security products business by October 3, allowing it to begin operating as a pure-play spirits company trading publicly under the name Beam Inc. on October 4. Fortune Brands will receive a cash dividend of $500 million from the home and security unit prior to the spin-off, which remains subject to SEC and New York Stock Exchange approvals.

The separation of Beam from Fortune’s other former businesses has led to speculation that Beam brands like Jim Beam, Sauza, Courvoisier, Maker’s Mark and others could become acquisition targets, but Beam, which has ramped up its marketing spend by double-digits over the past year and a half—resulting in record sales in the three months through June, and a 14% increase to $1.38 billion in the first half of 2011—appears intent on remaining an independent player.

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