Dec
8
2010
Fortune Brands Breakup: Booze Always Sells, Golf Doesn’t
By Stephanie Wei under Equipment

Fortune Brands Inc. plans to split into three companies, hanging onto its liquor business led by Jim Beam bourbon while getting rid of the units that produce Titleist golf equipment (and FootJoy apparel), Moen faucets and Master Locks.

On Wednesday the company announced it will sell or spin off its golf and  home and security businesses, and concentrate on the booze industry, which generates $2.5 billion annually. Well, duh. When the economy is good, people drink happily. And when the economy sucks, people drown their sorrows with the bottle.

But a new set of golf clubs? Or home utilities? Not totally necessary. I mean, who needs locks on doors? Don’t bother —  there are so many home foreclosures, anyway. Meanwhile, the rest have sold their cold for cash.

Chief Executive Bruce Carbonari said in a statement, via Reuters:

“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.

“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.”

Translation: Let’s cut our losses and pour our efforts into something that won’t suffer due to the economy.

So, any word on which companies might pick up Acushnet? Not yet. Maybe Nike?