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CSR to return $800m to shareholders

On Friday 7 January 2011, 16:23

CSR Ltd shareholders will receive $800 million from the $1.8 billion raised by the sale of the company's Sucrogen and Asian businesses.

Shares in the 155-year-old company jumped 6.5 cents, or 3.94 per cent, to $1.71 on the news.

CSR says it will return around $138.6 million of sale proceeds in a fully franked special dividend of 9.13 cents per share, to be paid on February 2.

A further $661.4 million will be returned via a proposed capital return of 43.57 cents per share, subject to shareholder approval.

CSR also announced plans to consolidate its shares on a three for one basis, if the 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 on the capital return and other resolutions at a general meeting scheduled for February 8, 2011 at Sydney's Wesley Centre.

CSR said the share consolidation would ensure that the number of shares on issue and the 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, the company said.

CSR completed the sale of its sugar business Sucrogen to Singapore-based agribusiness Wilmar International for $1.75 billion in December.

Wilmar paid an additional $93 million to cover CSR's cost of funding Sucrogen from April 2010.

CSR, a 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 retained its autoclaved aerated concrete plant in Malaysia.