Fortune Brands adopts poison pill to avoid hostile takeoverDEERFIELD, IL — Fortune Brands Inc.'s Home & Security unit adopted a poison pill Tuesday to protect shareholders from a hostile takeover in anticipation of its spinoff Oct. 3. The brands in this unit include: the MasterBrand Cabinets lines of Aristokraft, Omega, Diamond and Kitchen Craft; Moen faucets; Therma-Tru door systems; Simonton windows; Master Lock security products; and Waterloo storage and organization products.

According to the company, the shareholder rights plan, commonly known as a poison pill, will be triggered if any person or group acquires more than 15% of the company’s shares; an exception would be if an individual or group owned that amount or more prior to the Sept. 6 announcement.

"Adopting a shareholder rights plan is an appropriate step for Fortune Brands Home & Security to protect the interests of shareholders as the company becomes an independent business and realizes its upside potential as the U.S. housing market recovers," Chris Klein, president and CEO of Fortune Brands Home & Security, said in a statement. At the closing of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Fortune Brands shares were down 1.14%, at $54.21.

This is not the first time Fortune Brands has employed a poison pill. The company had put one in place in 1997 and terminated it in December 2004, three years earlier than it was originally set to expire.

Following the October spinoff, the Home & Security unit, encompassing doors, windows, cabinetry and security, will trade under the symbol FBHS on the NYSE. Fortune Brands will change its name to Beam and operate as a pure-play spirits company. The major spirits brands of Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. include Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon, Sauza tequila, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Cruzan rum, Teacher's and Laphroaig Scotch, EFFEN vodka, Skinnygirl cocktails and DeKuyper cordials

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