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Australia's CSR stock rises after $2.8 billion takeover offer from Saint-Gobain

Published 02/21/2024, 03:43 PM
Updated 02/21/2024, 07:17 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Logo of Saint-Gobain is seen at the company headquarters in the financial and business district of La Defense, near Paris, France, September 14, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

By Scott Murdoch and Sameer Manekar

(Reuters) -Australia's CSR Ltd shares rose a further 5% on Thursday as the building products maker came into play following a A$4.30 billion ($2.81 billion) non-binding takeover proposal from France's Saint-Gobain (PA:SGOB).

The Sydney-based firm said it had received a A$9.0 per share offer from the French group, which represented a premium of 13.2% to CSR's last close.

CSR shares soared 17.4% on Wednesday before trading was paused following a media report of the takeover offer.

CSR is one of Australia's oldest companies, having been established in 1855, initially as a sugar refining business, before its diversification into building products.

"CSR is currently providing Saint-Gobain with confirmatory due diligence access to progress to a binding transaction at an agreed offer price of A$9.00 per share," the Sydney-based construction materials firm said in a statement.

"Following review of the proposal, the CSR board unanimously resolved to pursue the proposal," it added.

Shares of Saint-Gobain, a French building materials maker, closed up 0.18% on Wednesday, reversing earlier losses.

The proposal allows CSR to pay a final dividend of up to A$0.25 per share for the financial year ending in March which would then be deducted from the cash offer price, CSR added.

"The combination is an attractive opportunity for both companies," Saint-Gobain said in a statement late on Wednesday, adding that the acquisition would give the French company an opportunity to enter the Australian market.

The proposal is subject to approval from CSR shareholder and Australia's foreign investment review board, among others.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Logo of Saint-Gobain is seen at the company headquarters in the financial and business district of La Defense, near Paris, France, September 14, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

CSR carries a A$187.1 million provision on its book, as at Sept. 30, 2023, to cover any future asbestos-related liabilities that may arise from the company's sale of asbestos-related products in the past.

($1 = 1.5284 Australian dollars)

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