The company, whose brands include Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon, has been divided into distilled spirits, home and security, and golf products.
Its new distilled spirits business includes Beam Global Spirits & Wine, which has revenues of $2.5bn and is the largest US-based spirits company.
"We are taking the next logical step in the evolution of Fortune Brands, which we believe will maximise long-term value for our shareholders and create exciting opportunities within our businesses," said Bruce Carbonari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands.
"The announcement is the result of an ongoing strategic review process conducted by the board and management over the past four years that included regular evaluation of separating the businesses at the right time to serve the best interests of our shareholders.”
Reports suggest Diageo could be interested in picking up some of Fortune’s spirits brands, but not the entire business due to competition concerns.