Simonton Windows Part of New Home & Security Spin Off

by bkrigbaum@solagroup.com








PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – Simonton
Windows
, one of the
nation’s leading vinyl window and patio door manufacturers,
is part of the new Home & Security business that is expected to
be spun off by Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO) in 2011. Plans were
announced on December 8, 2010 for the Home & Security business
unit to be spun off as an independent, publicly-traded company to
current Fortune Brands shareholders.

“We’re excited that Simonton Windows is positioned
for continued growth as a market leader in the new Home &
Security business that’s being developed,” says
Mark Savan, president of Simonton Windows. “The new structure
will provide us with excellent opportunities for our brand to be a key
participant in a stand-alone publicly-traded company purely focused on
the home products market.

“While details are still being finalized, we anticipate this
exciting development will take place within the next six to nine
months. During and after the transition we expect no changes in our
operations. Every Simonton Associate will continue to focus on
providing the same top-quality products and services in the future as
we offer to our customers today.”

As part of its announcement today, representatives of Fortune Brands
communicated that its Board of Directors unanimously approved, in
principle, a separation of the company’s three strong consumer
businesses – distilled spirits, home and security,
and golf products.  The plan that the company intends to
pursue includes: the continuation of Fortune Brands as an independent,
publicly-traded company focused solely on its distilled spirits
business; the tax-free spin-off to shareholders of the home and
security business into an independent, publicly-traded company; and the
sale or tax-free spin-off of the golf business. Management has been
directed to develop detailed separation plans for consideration and
final Board approval.

“The premier brands in the current Fortune Brands Home
& Security group will serve as the cornerstones of an
exceptional new company,” says Savan. “At Simonton,
we’re looking forward to building upon our strong market
position as an industry leader. The value and service proposition we
provide to our customers nationwide will continue to be our primary
focus in the future.”

Fortune Brands Home & Security LLC, with annual sales exceeding
$3 billion, is a North American leader in its category. Its largest
single brand is Moen, the #1 faucet brand in North America. 
MasterBrand Cabinets, which includes brands such as Aristokraft,
Decorá, Diamond, Omega and Kitchen Craft, is the strong #2
cabinet manufacturer in North America.  Therma-Tru, the #1
entry door brand in the U.S., and Simonton, a leader in
energy-efficient vinyl-framed windows, are both well positioned in the
attractive advanced materials segments of their categories. 
Master Lock is the world’s #1 brand of padlocks and related security
products, and Waterloo is a leader in storage and organization
products.  Home & Security has enhanced its position
by playing offense during the downturn and front end of the
recovery.  The company has created lean and flexible supply
chains by both reducing costs and accelerating productivity
initiatives.  Significant new business wins, excellent
customer service and successful new-product innovations have
contributed to meaningful market share gains.  With this
momentum, combined with the company’s supply-chain flexibility and
efficient cost structures, Home & Security will have
substantial leverage and upside growth and returns potential as the
U.S. housing market recovers.

“We are taking the next logical step in the evolution of
Fortune Brands, which we believe will maximize long-term value for our
shareholders and create exciting opportunities within our businesses,”
said Bruce Carbonari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortune
Brands. “Today’s announcement is the result of an ongoing strategic
review process conducted by the Board and management over the past four
years that included regular evaluation of separating the businesses at
the right time to serve the best interests of our
shareholders.  While the breadth and balance of our portfolio
have served shareholders very well, we see the potential for even
greater value by separating our businesses into focused companies at a
time when they have emerged from the economic downturn in such strong
positions.  We believe now is the right time to move ahead
with this tax-efficient approach, and we’re confident the course we’ve
outlined today generates greater potential long-term value than all
other alternatives.”

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