Fortune Brands Inc. Acquires SBR Inc.

SBR Inc. of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Fortune Brands Inc., headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., have announced a definitive agreement for Fortune Brands to acquire SBR through a tax-free merger. The acquisition includes the home products brands of SBR, including Simonton Windows®, SimEx™, Fypon®, Hy-Lite® Products and Dixie-Pacific™.

According to a news release from SBR, operations will continue as they have in the past at the SBR home products subsidiaries, with no planned employee cutbacks or facility closings as part of the merger. Fortune Brands intends for SBR and each of its subsidiaries to continue running independently, with support from its $4 billion Home & Hardware business that includes Therma-Tru, Moen, MasterBrand Cabinets, Master Lock and Waterloo.

"For more than three decades the people of SBR have worked extremely hard to grow our company and have achieved outstanding results," said Sam Ross, chairperson and chief executive officer of SBR. "Now Fortune Brands will take us to the next level of success and offer our people even greater growth potential."

Ross continued, "When considering the sale of SBR, our principal shareholders sought out a company that focuses on creating shareholder value, treats people in an equitable manner and would not have any internal competition with our subsidiaries. We found all these admirable qualities in Fortune Brands. As a result, most of the principal SBR shareholders have indicated a desire to become shareholders in Fortune Brands. We believe this should be a seamless merger that helps strengthen the future for our subsidiaries and our 4,600 employees."

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close within the next few months.

According to information from SBR, Ross will retire from the company to start a new private investor group that will operate Woodcraft and Dovetail Media, while pursuing other business and personal interests. Greg Schorr will remain as president of SBR, and will continue to be responsible for the operations of Simonton Windows, SimEx, Fypon, Hy-Lite and Dixie-Pacific.


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