James Hardie explain Chile exit

James Hardie explain Chile exit
Published: 14 July 2005

The Australian firm James Hardie’s surprising departure from the Chilean fibre-cement sector - it has sold its assets to Compania Industrial El Volcan - linked to the Matte family - can be explained by its global strategy. As shareholders have been informed, James Hardie sees better opportunities in Pacific Asia, Europe and North America and, as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Louis Gries says, the firm is getting out at a good price and expects the company taking over to do well. The Australians entered the Chilean fibre-cement sector in 2001 and had acquired a 30 per cent-plus share of the market in that time, as well as beginning exports to the US and other South American nations, and was making money over the last year. In 2003, the company was criticised for low, even predatory, pricing and a court case brought by two competitors is close to conclusion.