SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Australia's CSR Ltd. said Friday it has agreed to buy glass manufacturer Pilkington Australasia from Japan's Nippon Sheet Glass Co. Ltd. for 690 million Australian dollars (US$582 million; euro432 million) to expand its building products division.
The purchase will be funded by debt and will be completed Friday, CSR said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.
''The acquisition represents a significant step in growing CSR Building Products and strengthens its position as a leading provider of building products in Australasia,'' CSR Managing Director Jerry Maycock said in the statement.
Pilkington Australasia operates three glass manufacturing facilities in Australia and generated revenue of around A$400 million (US$337 million; euro250 million) in the 2007 financial year. It is expected to generate revenue in excess of A$430 million (US$363 million; euro270 million) in 2008.
Sydney-based CSR said it will undertake a A$110 million (US$93 million; euro69 million) refurbishment of Pilkington's Dandenong plant in Victoria, which it expects will lower the fixed cost base and increase plant capacity from around 120,000 metric tons to 165,000 tons.
Pilkington is the only manufacturer of architectural glass in Australia and has a 60 percent share of the market. It is also the leading value added glass distributor with a 30 percent share of the Australian market. It has as well 25 percent of the value added glass distribution market in New Zealand.
CSR, which is also Australia's largest sugar producer, said the purchase is expected to be earnings per share neutral in the 2008 financial year, and positive from fiscal 2009, excluding one off costs.
CSR shares were up 2 cents, or 0.58 percent, at A$3.49.