NEW YORK—Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its ratings on Fortune Brands Inc. on Thursday as the conglomerate nears completion of the spin-off of its home and security business.
Fortune, based in Deerfield, Ill., announced late last year that it was breaking into three companies, keeping its liquor business, while selling off its golf and home businesses. The $1.23 billion sale of its golf business, which included the maker of Titleist golf balls, closed in July.
Fortune expects to spin off its home and security business to a separate company Oct. 3. That business makes Moen faucets, several brands of kitchen cabinets, doors and windows and Master Lock security products. Fortune Brands Home & Security will trade independently on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FBHS the following day.
The renamed Beam Global Spirits and Wine Inc., which makes a variety of alcohol products, including Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon and Canadian Club whiskey, will begin trading under the ticker symbol BEAM.
S&P said Thursday that it expects the spin-off to go forward as planned and affirmed its investment-grade "BBB-" long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt and other ratings on the company. The rating agency also removed all the company's ratings from watch with negative implications, where they were placed following announcement of the split into three businesses. The outlook is stable.
S&P said it expects the company will use the $500 million dividend from the home and security spin-off, as well as excess cash flow, to reduce its debt. The company used about $1.1 billion of net proceeds from the sale of its golf business to pay down debt.
Shares of Fortune fell 35 cents to $56.07 in afternoon trading Thursday.