Billionaire Kerry Stokes’ Seven Group to take full control of Boral for $1.9 billion

Billionaires

Seven Group Holdings—controlled by mining and media billionaire Kerry Stokes and his family—is offering to buy the rest of concrete and asphalt maker Boral for A$1.9 billion ($1.2 billion) in a cash and share transaction as the Australian conglomerate seeks to tap the country’s booming infrastructure spending.
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – March 03: Kerry Stokes is seen at the Leadership Matters Breakfast on March 3, 2021 in Perth, Australia. The Western Australian state election will be held on Saturday 13 March. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)

Under the deal, SGH Bidder, a unit of Seven Group, is offering A$6.05 for each Boral share, comprising 0.1116 Seven Group shares and A$1.50 cash, Seven Group said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange. Seven Group already owns 72% of Boral after a 2021 takeover attempt.

“This transaction has a compelling rationale for Seven Group and for Boral’s shareholders, who would become Seven Group shareholders as part of the transaction and continue to benefit from the operational improvement journey underway at Boral,” Ryan Stokes, Seven Group CEO and son of the company’s former chairman Kerry Stokes, said in the statement.

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The cash component could be increased to as much as A$1.70, bringing total compensation to A$6.25 per share if the acceptances reach the 90.6% compulsory takeover threshold, Seven Group said. Boral said in a separate statement that its board has established an independent committee to study the offer and advised shareholders to take no action pending additional information from the board.

“The integration of Boral as a 100% owned business is a natural evolution for Seven Group, supporting our position as a leading ASX industrial business,” Ryan Stokes, who is also the chairman of Boral, said. “The integration is expected to support and accelerate the delivery of the current Good to Great performance journey.”

With a net worth of $5.7 billion, Stokes ranked No. 12 on the Forbes list of Australia’s 50 Richest which was published earlier this month. He started his career selling Caterpillar tractors and trucks in Australia and China, before moving into media with the acquisition of Seven Group (formerly Seven Networks) in 1996. He has since transformed the company into one of the country’s biggest conglomerates with a market cap of A$14.8 billion and interests in construction, energy, industrial services and mining.

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