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Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO) today completed the previously announced sale of the Acushnet Company golf business to a group led by Fila Korea Ltd. and Mirae Asset Private Equity. The price was $1.225 billion in cash.
“The sale of Acushnet and its industry-leading Titleist and FootJoy brands represents a major milestone in our plan to separate our businesses to maximize long-term value for our shareholders,” said Bruce Carbonari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands. “We will use the $1.1 billion in after-tax net proceeds from this transaction to strengthen Fortune Brands’ balance sheet, which will support strong capital structures for both Beam and Home & Security as independent businesses.” By reducing net debt by approximately 30%, Fortune Brands will lower its debt-to-EBITDA ratio from 3.8 to 3.0.
“Acushnet is a tremendous company built on powerful brands, a management team that’s second to none, and a passionate high-performance work force,” Carbonari continued. “The people of Acushnet have contributed significantly to Fortune Brands’ success over the past 35 years and we wish these talented associates all the best as they write the next chapter in the history of golf’s greatest brands.”
The final step in Fortune Brands’ proposed separation plan is the previously announced spin-off of Fortune Brands Home & Security to shareholders, which remains on track for completion early in the fourth quarter. Assuming completion of the spin-off, Fortune Brands Home & Security will be an independent public company trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "FBHS." The remaining company, a pure-play spirits company to be renamed Beam Inc., intends to trade as "BEAM." The spin-off remains subject to completion of detailed separation plans, customary regulatory approvals and final Board approval.
Fortune Brands was advised on the Acushnet transaction by Morgan Stanley and Centerview Partners as financial advisors and Chadbourne & Parke as legal advisor. Fila Korea and Mirae were advised by Nomura, Korea Development Bank and the M&A and Korean practice groups of counsel McDermott, Will & Emery.