Boral eyes $3b capital return to shareholders

Boral says it will return up to $3 billion in capital to shareholders as it heads into the final stages of an asset sale program centred on the exit from two large North American businesses.

The company told the ASX on Monday that settlement of the $US2.15 billion ($2.96 billion) sale of its United States building products business to Westlake Chemical occurred on October 1. The sale of the roofing, stone and window businesses was announced in July. Westlake is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and based in Houston.

A sale process for Boral’s fly ash business in the US, which analysts expect could fetch about $1.5 billion, is in the final stages.

Boral said on Monday that it “expects to be in a position to return up to $3 billion of surplus capital to shareholders by way of an equal capital reduction”. That will be subject to approval by shareholders and a ruling by the Australian Taxation Office.

Boral is now 70 per cent-owned by Seven Group Holdings, the listed conglomerate built up by billionaire Kerry Stokes, but has 55,000 other shareholders.

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