Beam Inc will pay off US$400m of debt thanks to a windfall received following the break-up of Fortune Brands.

Beam, which began trading as an independent spirits company this week, said today (7 October) that it plans to pay off the $400m-worth of outstanding 3% notes due in 2012. It plans to redeem the notes by 4 November.

Funding to pay down the debt tranche has been provided by a portion of a $500m windfall following the dissolution of Beam's parent group, Fortune Brands. Beam has received the windfall from Fortune's home and security business, it said.

The plan to redeem the 2012 notes is part of Beam's wider strategy to pay off $1.7bn of debt, the company said.