DEERFIELD, IL -- At the Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) annual meeting of shareholders today, chairman and chief executive officer Bruce Carbonari updated shareholders on the previously announced plan to separate the company’s three businesses.

Carbonari told shareholders that the company is making “excellent progress” towards a potential sale or spin-off of the golf business, a tax-free spin-off of the home and security business, and the establishment of the company as a pure-play spirits business. “We’re continuing to target completing this process in the second half of 2011,” Carbonari said. “We believe that each of these businesses is very well positioned to create significant value for shareholders and that the plan we’ve outlined offers shareholders great opportunities to participate in the substantial upside we see in our businesses.”

Fortune Brands to Operate as Beam Following Separation

Carbonari also announced that, assuming completion of the separation, Fortune Brands will operate under a new name: Beam Inc., which is derived from the current name of the spirits unit, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, and the flagship Jim Beam brand. The corporate name change reflects the company’s intended pure focus on distilled spirits, the pioneering and entrepreneurial family heritage of the iconic Jim Beam brand that dates to 1795, and the strong equity in the trade inherent in the Beam name. Beam will be the world’s fourth largest premium spirits business and the largest U.S.-based spirits company, powered by a portfolio of premium brands including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Sauza, Courvoisier, Canadian Club and Teacher’s. As previously announced, Matt Shattock will continue to lead Beam as president and chief executive officer of the company.

Assuming completion of the spin-off, the Fortune Brands Home & Security unit will retain its name and be the only company associated with the Fortune Brands name once it is spun off and becomes an independent publicly traded company. Fortune Brands Home & Security is a North American leader in its categories, with #1 brands and businesses that include Moen, MasterBrand Cabinets, Therma-Tru and Master Lock. Chris Klein, current president and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands Home & Security, will continue to lead the company following the spin-off.

As previously disclosed, the company is exploring the potential sale or spin-off of its Acushnet Company golf business. The company has no plans to change the name of Acushnet, which is led by chairman and chief executive officer Wally Uihlein.

The separation plan remains subject to completion of detailed separation plans, customary regulatory approvals and final Board approval.

In other developments at the annual meeting, all six directors on the ballot were re-elected to the Board for one-year terms.

About Fortune Brands

Fortune Brands, Inc. is a leading consumer brands company. Its operating companies have premier brands and leading market positions in distilled spirits, home and security, and golf products. Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. is the company's premium spirits business. Major spirits brands 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 margarita and DeKuyper cordials. The brands of Fortune Brands Home & Security LLC include Moen faucets, Aristokraft, Omega, Diamond and Kitchen Craft cabinetry, Therma-Tru door systems, Simonton windows, Master Lock security products and Waterloo storage and organization products. Acushnet Company's golf brands include Titleist and FootJoy. Fortune Brands, headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FO and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index.

SOURCE: Fortune Brands Inc.

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