FORTUNE BRANDS TO SPIN OFF ACCO WORLD OFFICE PRODUCTS UNIT; ACCO WORLD
TO MERGE WITH GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION, CREATING WORLD'S LARGEST
SUPPLIER OF BRANDED OFFICE PRODUCTS
● Combined ACCO-GBC Enterprise Will Boast Exceptional Brand Portfolio and Increased Scale in
Growing Office Products Market
● Conference Call Today at 9:15 AM ET to Discuss Spin-Off and Merger
Lincolnshire and Northbrook, IL, March 16, 2005 - In moves to enhance shareholder value, Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO)
and General Binding Corporation (NASDAQ: GBND) announced today that Fortune Brands will spin off to shareholders its
ACCO World Corporation office products unit, and that ACCO will merge with General Binding Corporation (GBC) to create the
world's largest supplier of branded office products with combined revenues of nearly $2 billion.
The merger of ACCO and GBC will establish an office products powerhouse with a broad portfolio of leading brands. The new
company, to be called Acco Brands Corporation, will combine ACCO's Swingline, Wilson Jones, Kensington, Day-Timer and
Rexel brands with GBC's GBC and Quartet brands. With increased scale and international reach, Acco Brands Corporation will
be well positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities in the growing and fragmented global office products market.
The spin-off of ACCO sharpens Fortune Brands' focus on growing its high-return Home & Hardware, Spirits & Wine and Golf
businesses. As part of the spin-off, Fortune Brands will receive a cash dividend of $625 million from ACCO. Upon completion of
the simultaneous spin-off and merger, which is expected this summer, shareholders of both Fortune Brands and GBC will
receive shares in the newly created company.
● Fortune Brands shareholders of record will, in addition to retaining all of their shares of Fortune Brands stock, receive
one share of Acco Brands Corporation for approximately every 4.6 shares they own of Fortune Brands stock.
● GBC shareholders will receive one Acco Brands share in exchange for each GBC s