December 9, 2010 / 12:53 AM / 9 years ago

Timline: How Fortune Brands grew before split-up plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fortune Brands Inc FO.N said on Wednesday it would split into three separate businesses. Below is a history of the company and how it transformed through acquisitions over the years.

1795: Jacob Beam, a farmer and grain mill operator, sells his first barrel of what would become Jim Beam whiskey.

1890: The American Tobacco Company is formed by James Buchanan Duke, a major benefactor of Duke University.

1924: Master Lock invents the laminated padlock.

1935: The first Titleist golf ball is made.

1937: Al Moen develops the first single-handle faucet.

1967: American Tobacco acquires Jim Beam bourbon.

1969: American Tobacco changes its name to American Brands Inc.

1970: American Brands acquires Master Lock.

1976: American Brands acquires Acushnet Company, including its Titleist golf balls.

1985: American Brands is incorporated as a holding company for Jim Beam, Titleist, Master Lock padlocks and other brands. It also acquires FootJoy, known for its golfing shoes and gloves.

1990: American Brands acquires Moen Group Inc.

1994: American shifts its strategy to focus on its four leading categories: home and security, office, golf, and distilled spirits. It sells its American Tobacco unit to B.A.T. Industries P.L.C.

1997: American Brands changes its name to Fortune Brands. It also spins off its international tobacco subsidiary.

2003: Fortune Brands acquires Therma-Tru Doors.

2005: Fortune buys more than 20 wine and spirits brands from French company Pernod Ricard.

2007: Fortune sells its wine business to Constellation Brands Inc.

2008: Fortune buys Cruzan rum from Pernod Ricard.

2010: Fortune announces plan to split into three separate companies. The company also sold its Cobra golf brand to Puma earlier in the year.

Sources: Fortune Brands, tobaccodocuments.org, nytimes.com, jimbeam.com

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