Corporate shake-ups: Saint-Gobain acquires CSR, CRH secures Adbri

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

On Monday, CSR formally fell to the French giant Saint-Gobain. On Tuesday, Adbri formally fell to the Ireland-based CRH.

Last week, Seven Group Holdings produced a structured mop-up bid for the approximately 30% of Boral it doesn’t own.

Suddenly, there are few construction and building material companies left on the ASX (Wagner in Queensland, which is family-owned).

The CRH bid for Adbri had already been flagged (as had the Saint-Gobain offer for CSR).

On Tuesday, CRH said it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the remaining 57% of Adbri's ordinary shares not owned by the Barro Group for $3.20 per share in cash.

(The Saint-Gobain and Seven Group offers are also cash, unlike the other mop-up bid this week - the all-paper offer from Alcoa for the 40% in Alumina it doesn’t own).

Adbri independent directors have recommended its shareholders vote in favor of the transaction. CRH has agreed to partner with Barro, an Australian family-owned business that owns 43% of Adbri, for the transaction under a scheme of arrangement.

Details of the partnership weren't disclosed. The transaction is expected to occur later this year.

Adbri also revealed its 2023 results - no dividend again because of the huge cost overrun on its Kwinana expansion (which becomes CRH's headache) and the high level of debt taken on to finance the overrun.

Adbri said annual revenue increased by 13.1% to $1.92 billion, while statutory EBITDA was $297.4 million, up 5.2%, and underlying EBITDA was $311.0 million, up 30.9% from 2022.

Statutory net after-tax profit attributable to members of Adbri was $92.9 million, down 9.5% from 2022, while underlying NPAT was $111.7 million, up 43.8% from the previous year.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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