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CSR to return $800 mln to shareholders

On Friday 7 January 2011, 10:13

CSR Ltd shares gained three per cent after the company said it would return $800 million to shareholders via a special dividend and capital return following the sale of its Sucrogen and Asian businesses.

The stock gained five cents, or 3.03 per cent, to $1.70 by 1005 AEDT.

Around $138.6 million would be returned via a special dividend of 9.13 cents per share, CSR said in a statement on Friday.

Another $661.4 million would be returned via a proposed capital return of 43.57 cents per share that required shareholder approval.

The company also announced plans to consolidate its shares in a ratio of one share for every three shares currently held, if the proposed capital return is approved by shareholders.

CSR chairman Ian Blackburne said the special dividend and capital return were a "timely, equitable and efficient" way to return funds to shareholders.

Dr Blackburne said CSR directors would vote in favour of the capital return and other resolutions at a general meeting scheduled for February 8, 2011 at Sydney's Wesley Centre.

CSR said the aim of the share consolidation was to ensure that the number of shares on issue and trading price was at a level "broadly comparable to CSR's peer group of companies."

If approved, the number of CSR shares on issue would be reduced from about 1.518 billion to about 506 million, CSR said.

Post-consolidation trading on a deferred settlement basis, if given the green light from shareholders, would commence on February 18, 2011, the company said.

CSR completed the sale of its sugar business Sucrogen to Singapore-based agribusiness Wilmar International for $1.843 billion in December.

The 155-year-old company, established in Sydney as the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, had worked to split its sugar and building products business since the middle of 2009.

Separately, CSR sold its Asian insulation and panels business to the Rockwool Group for $128 million.

CSR held onto a concrete plant in Malaysia.