Boral looks to US acquisitions

Boral looks to US acquisitions
Published: 11 February 2004

Building materials group Boral has flagged the possibility of a future capital raising, after declaring that its short-term acquisition plans did not stop with its planned A$867 million takeover of Adelaide Brighton. After beating market expectations with a 29 per cent lift in half-year net profit to $185.8 million, Boral chief executive Rod Pearse said the company was on the lookout for possible purchases in the US, despite the additional $1 billion of debt Boral would take on with the AdBri takeover. "While the debt-to-equity ratio with the acquisition of Adelaide Brighton would run up to around 85 per cent, we think we would be able to bring that down reasonably quickly. So it doesn’t mean we should stop looking for value-creating and new things to do," he said. Boral’s net debt at the end of 2003 was A$882 million.

"We will keep the radar on and look for blips and opportunities. I mean, we did that with Concrite, we did that with Franklin Brick [and] we’ve done that with Adelaide Brighton," Mr Pearse said, hinting of a possible shift into higher-margin construction materials businesses in the US, such as concrete.  "We’ve got funding choices as well. We’ve tended to have relied on debt and since the time of the demerger we haven’t issued equity. We’ve got very good access to the debt markets and we’ve got very good access also to the equity markets," Mr Pearse said. (Original report from Sydney Morning Herald).