A Bumper Crop of Spinoffs

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Well, the spinoff news just keeps on coming. I opened my email box today only to be bombarded with pending spinoff news.

So starting from the top:

The big one out of the gate is news that Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO  ) is set to break apart the company into separate businesses: the spirits unit, the home and security business, and the golf business. The golf unit may be sold or spun off, according to reports. In particular, the spirits business with its Jim Beam brand is attractive. Apparently, the company has considered a break-up for four years. Funny that those plans suddenly become concrete just two months after activist investor Bill Ackman discloses a fat stake in the company ...

Also on the docket today is news that ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT  ) plans to spin off its stainless steel unit. The spinoff looks to happen in the first quarter of 2011. Some analysts expect the move will spur consolidation in the industry, which is beset by overcapacity. The spinoff will trade over-the-counter.

Last, telecom NTELOS (Nasdaq: NTLS  ) has decided to spin off its wireline division, which operates in Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania . The parent will remain focused on its wireless operations. The transaction is expected to take place in the second half of 2011.

So those are some transactions I'll be looking at as part of the Special Situations portfolio.

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Jim Royal, Ph.D., does not own shares in any company mentioned here. Fortune Brands is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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