Inside these posts: Jim Beam

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Fortune Brands to invest in liquor business

Bottles of Jim Beam bourbon sit on a shelf in a liquor store in Deerfield, Illinois, U.S., on Nov. 1, 2010. (Tim Boyle/Bloomberg)

Fortune Brands Inc. plans to pour money into marketing its liquor brands like Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark as it prepares to become a standalone spirits company.

A top executive also says it will keep an eye out for potential acquisitions. Get the full story »

Fortune Brands profit up, separation on track

Consumer goods maker Fortune Brands posted a sharply higher quarterly profit that topped Wall Street’s expectations as an improving economy helped spur sales of premium liquor and Titleist golf clubs.

But the conglomerate said sales of its Simonton windows, up at a double-digit rate, were fueled by the expiration of a consumer tax credit for the purchase of energy-efficient home products. As a result, it expects the overall window market to fall at a mid-single-digit rate this year. Get the full story »

Buyout firms circle Fortune Brands’ home unit

A Moen Single Handle Bath Faucet at a Home Depot in New York, July 27, 2007. Fortune Brands Inc. is the holding company for Moen faucets, among other products. (Andrew Burton/Bloomberg News)

Several major private equity firms are considering buying Fortune Brands’ home products unit after the company announced plans to spin off the $3 billion division, five people familiar with the matter said.

Some of the large buyout firms, including Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, are studying the potential of either making offers for the entire unit or acquiring a stake in the business as part of the planned spin-off, the people said.

Such considerations are at a preliminary stage and it is unclear if Fortune would be interested in selling to buyout firms, which would incur heavy taxes, as opposed to a tax-free spinoff, the people said. Get the full story »

Fortune Brands to split in 3

Fortune Brands headquarters. (AP)

Fortune brands, the Deerfield-based purveyor of golf balls, Sauza tequila and Moen faucets, announced it intends to split the company into as many as three parts.

Under a plan approved by Fortune‚Äôs board, the company expects to spin off its home and security business to shareholders, sell or spin off its golf business and become a publicly-traded spirits company. Get the full story »

Fortune Brands reportedly considering a breakup

Fortune Brands Inc., the maker of Jim Beam bourbon and Moen faucets, is growing likely to cooperate with activist shareholder William Ackman on a plan to split up the company’s three business units, people familiar with the matter said.

There is no guarantee that efforts to spin off or sell the golf equipment, spirits and home-products businesses will succeed, given the complexity inherent in untangling and valuing the three divisions, the people cautioned. Get the full story »

Fortune Brands ‘open’ to talking with Ackman

Some of Fortune Brands' products. (Candice C. Cusic/Chicago Tribune)

Fortune Brands touted the “value proposition” of remaining a diversified company Thursday but said it’s open to meeting with all its investors, including hedge fund manager William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, which has taken a 10.9 percent stake in the company.

“We’re open to constructive discussion with all our shareholders and that includes Pershing Square,” Chief Executive Bruce Carbonari said. “Our board is very engaged and very involved and along, along with management, at looking at how our business is structured.”

Added Craig Omtvedt, chief financial officer, “We’re pretty relaxed. We look forward to having a dialogue with Ackman and his team as much as we do anybody else.” Get the full story »

Analysts cautious after Fortune up on Ackman news

Fortune Brands’ shares surged 13 percent on Friday on the news that William Ackman’s firm Pershing Square Capital Management had purchased an 11 percent stake in the company. But the stock’s ebullience has given some analysts pause.

Peter Lisnic of Robert W. Baird downgraded Fortune’s stock on Monday morning from “outperform” to “neutral,” saying that the stock is now priced higher than its peers.

“Our rating adjustment reflects current valuation metrics that are now at a material premium relative to blended peer group multiples,” he wrote. “While [Fortune] remains well positioned in its end markets, and execution during the recession and housing downturn has been superb, current valuation metrics would appear to discount a stronger macroeconomic recovery than we believe is likely, particularly in U.S. housing construction markets.” Get the full story »

Fortune Brands tops estimates on big sales gains

Consumer goods maker Fortune Brands Inc. reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit Friday, helped by double-digit sales growth for its home and security products. It raised its full-year earnings outlook.

The maker of Jim Beam bourbon and Moen faucets said net income was $227.4 million, or $1.48 per share, in the second quarter, up from $99.8 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier. Get the full story »