Fortune Brands was a holding company founded in 1969 as American Brands, renamed in 1997 and split apart in 2011. The corporate headquarters was in
Deerfield, Illinois Deerfield is a North Shore (Chicago), north shore suburb of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois, United States, with a small portion extending into Cook County, Illinois. The population was 19,196 at the 2020 United States census, 2020 census. Deerfi ...
, in the United States. The company had diversified product lines. It announced on December 8, 2010, that it would focus on its liquor business, and spin off or sell other parts of the company including home furnishings, hardware and golf products.Fortune Brands Announces Intent to Separate Company's Three Businesses
, ''The Wall Street Journal'', December 8, 2010.
The company sold its Titleist and FootJoy product lines to FILA Korea. On October 3, 2011, it split the remainder of its business into two publicly traded companies: Fortune Brands Home & Security () and Beam Inc. (). On January 13, 2014, Suntory (headquartered in
Osaka, Japan is a designated city in the Kansai region of Honshu in Japan. It is the capital of and most populous city in Osaka Prefecture, and the third most populous city in Japan, following Special wards of Tokyo and Yokohama. With a population of ...
) announced it would buy Beam Inc. for about $13.6 billion. The acquisition was completed on April 30, 2014, for about $16 billion and Beam became a subsidiary of Suntory named
Beam Suntory Beam Suntory, Inc. is an American-founded, Japanese multinational company that produces alcoholic beverages. It is a subsidiary of Suntory, based in Osaka, Japan. It is the third largest producer of distilled beverages worldwide, behind Diag ...


American Tobacco Company The American Tobacco Company was a tobacco company founded in 1890 by J. B. Duke through a merger between a number of U.S. tobacco manufacturers including Allen and Ginter and Goodwin & Company. The company was one of the original 12 members ...
was founded in 1890. In the late 1960s, with health concerns seen as posing an increasing threat to the tobacco business, management decided to diversify into other fields and changed the corporate name to American Brands, Inc.
Brown & Williamson Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation was a U.S. tobacco company and a subsidiary of multinational British American Tobacco that produced several popular cigarette brands. It became infamous as the focus of investigations for chemically enhanci ...
acquired the tobacco division in 1994.

Former divisions


American Tobacco Company The American Tobacco Company was a tobacco company founded in 1890 by J. B. Duke through a merger between a number of U.S. tobacco manufacturers including Allen and Ginter and Goodwin & Company. The company was one of the original 12 members ...
was the original division of American Brands. American Tobacco was sold to
British American Tobacco British American Tobacco plc (BAT) is a British multinational company that manufactures and sells cigarettes, tobacco and other nicotine products. The company, established in 1902, is headquartered in London, England. As of 2019, it is the larg ...
in 1994.


American Brands acquired Franklin Life Insurance in 1979. It sold the company to American General in 1994.


In 1987 American Brands acquired ACCO, a holding company which owned several office supply subsidiaries. Stapler manufacturer Swingline, Inc., which American Brands had acquired in 1970, was combined with ACCO. In 2005, the company spun off ACCO to shareholders, and immediately thereafter ACCO merged with General Binding Corporation. This merged company is now known as
ACCO Brands ACCO Brands Corporation is an American multinational company and is one of the world's largest designers, manufacturers, and marketers of premium business, technology, academic, and consumer products. It was created by the merger of ACCO World ...


The Acushnet Company, purchased in 1976, became American Brands'
golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not use a standardized playing area, and coping wi ...
division. It produced golf balls, shoes, and clubs under the Pinnacle Golf, Titleist, FootJoy and Cobra Golf trademarks. The Acushnet Rubber division, which was Acushnet's original business, was sold off in 1985. Cobra Golf was sold to
Puma AG Puma SE, branded as Puma, is a German multinational corporation that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories, which is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. Puma is the third largest sportswe ...
in March 2010, and the other golf brands were sold to Fila in 2011.

Home and hardware

The home and hardware division reached annual sales of over $4 billion, from Waterloo Industries, Masterbrand Cabinets (and its subsidiaries), Moen faucets, Fypon, Therma-Tru doors, Simonton windows, Master Lock, American Lock, and Vista Window Company, Western Division. Many of these operations passed to Fortune Brands Home & Security when the company was split.


Fortune Brands had a stable of well known spirits brands, led by
Jim Beam Jim Beam is an American brand of bourbon whiskey produced in Clermont, Kentucky, by Beam Suntory. It is one of the best-selling brands of bourbon in the world. Since 1795 (interrupted by Prohibition), seven generations of the Beam family have ...
, which it had purchased in 1968. In July 2005, Fortune Brands and French spirits company
Pernod Ricard Pernod Ricard () is a French company best known for its anise-flavoured pastis apéritifs Pernod Anise and Ricard Pastis (often referred to simply as ''Pernod'' or ''Ricard''). The world’s second-largest wine and spirits seller, it also produ ...
acquired over 25 additional spirits and wine brands from British holding company
Allied Domecq Allied Domecq PLC was an international company, headquartered in Bristol, United Kingdom, that operated spirits, wine, and quick service restaurant businesses. It was once a FTSE 100 Index constituent but has been acquired by Pernod Ricard. The ...
. In November 2007,
Constellation Brands Constellation Brands, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, is an American producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits. Constellation is the largest beer import company in the US, measured by sales, and has the third-largest market share (7.4 percen ...
announced a purchase of Fortune Brands' wine operations for $885 million USD, a transaction that added of vineyards, several major brands such as Clos du Bois, and 2.6 million cases per year of "super-premium" class wine production. After the other product lines were sold and spun off, the remaining spirits business became Beam Inc.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Fortune Brands (1969-2011) Conglomerate companies of the United States Holding companies of the United States Distilleries in Illinois Defunct companies based in Illinois American companies established in 1969 Conglomerate companies established in 1969 American companies disestablished in 2011 Holding companies disestablished in 2011 1969 establishments in Illinois 2011 disestablishments in Illinois