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US: Fortune Brands completes golf business sale, edges closer to Beam Inc

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Fortune Brands has moved another step closer to recreating itself as a standalone spirits company, after completing the sale of its golf business.

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Fortune said late last week that it has closed the sale of its golf division, Acushnet Co, to a consortium led by Fila Korea and Mirae Asset Private Equity for US$1.225bn cash.

The deal brings Fortune closer to its target of transforming Beam Global Spirits & Wine into a standalone spirits business, under the name of Beam Inc. This plan now mostly hinges on the successful spin-off of Fortune's only other business, its home and security division. 

Fortune said that it remains confident of achieving this early in the fourth quarter of this year.

The golf business sale will also reduce Fortune's net debt by around a third, bringing its net debt to EBITDA ratio down to 3 from 3.8 previously, the company said. Last week, Fortune announced plans to use the US$1.1bn in after-tax proceeds from the golf sale to buy back both medium-term and long-term debt.

It also said that group CEO and chairman, Bruce Carbonari, will leave the company once the business separation plan has been completed.


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