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Boral Buys Stone Maker Headwaters to Boost U.S. Operations

Other construction purchases have come from ABC Supply, Southwire and United Subcontractors

Australia’s Boral Ltd. agreed to buy U.S. building materials company Headwaters Inc. (NYSE: HW) for $1.8 billion in cash as it seeks to benefit from increased infrastructure spending promised by President-elect Donald Trump.

Construction deals have been rising in the middle market. ABC Supply Co. bought steel frame distributor L&W Supply; Southwire Co. LLC is purchasing electrical wire maker United Copper Industries Inc.; and United Subcontractors Inc. has acquired Southern Foam and Coating.

Boral will pay $24.25 per share, according to a statement-- 21 percent more than Headwater’s closing price on Nov. 18. It plans to sell A$2.05 billion ($1.5 billion) of shares at A$4.80 each, a 22 percent discount to the last closing price, to help fund the deal, with the balance coming from existing cash and debt.

The Sydney-based company’s largest acquisition will more than double the size of its U.S. operations and boost its fly ash business, which will “play favorably into the infrastructure spend underway” in the U.S., Boral said in the statement. Trump has pledged a $1 trillion program to rebuild highways, tunnels, bridges and airports.

Headwaters’s businesses are “highly complementary with Boral’s existing U.S. operations – in fly ash, roofing, stone and light building products,” Chief executive officer Mike Kane said in the statement. The deal is expected to deliver savings of $100 million a year within four years, he said.

The acquisition will give Boral a U.S. business with an annual revenue of $1.8 billion, according to the statement. Fly ash is used to produce concrete and the business is “forecast to experience strong growth,” the company said.

The deal, which has an enterprise value of $2.6 billion, is expected to be completed mid-2017. Boral is being advised by Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) and Macquarie Capital.

Additional reporting by Mergers & Acquisitions' Demitri Diakantonis

 

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