The board of directors of Fortune Brands has approved in principle the separation of its three businesses, including the Acushnet Company with golf brands such as Titleist and FootJoy.
The plan would result in the continuation of Fortune Brands as an independent, publicly-traded company and the sale or tax-free spinoff of Achushnet, with its $1.2-billion in annual sales.
“The strength of the Acushnet Company as the undisputed global leader in the golf category and confidence in our growth prospects were factors contributing to the board’s decision,” said Acushnet chief executive officer Wally Uihlein.
“Whether the Acushnet Company is sold to a new owner or becomes an independent, publicly-traded company, our focus will be to keep on doing what’s made us the leader in our industry – the delivery of best-in-class products and service to our customers and golf consumers,” he added.
Fortune Brands acquired Acushnet in 1976 and Acushnet brought FootJoy under its umbrella in 1985.
“Throughout the history of both brands – and the products and people that are the essence of the brands – there have been any number of challenges and new opportunities and there have always been shareholders that the business has been accountable to,” said Uihlein.
”We have a strong history of rising to those challenges and taking advantage of those opportunities, while fulfilling our commitment to our shareholders,” he added.
“With our industry leadership, our strong and unique culture and our talented team, we look forward to a successful transition to new ownership and building the bridge to the next chapter in Acushnet Company’s accomplished history,” said Uihlein.
The Fortune Brand’s board has directed management to develop detailed separation plans for consideration and final approval. Fortune Brands expects to complete development of these plans – including the structure, timing and other related matters for each business – within the next several months.