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Fletcher Building agrees to buy Fielders

Tuesday 7th October 2008

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Fletcher Building, the biggest building products company on the NZX 50 Index, agreed to buy Adelaide-based Fielders Australia, adding a steel components business with A$275 million in annual sales.

Fielders produces rolled formed steel building components for commercial, industrial and residential construction, Flecther said in a statement. No price was disclosed.

The purchase "would complement our existing business units in Australia and New Zealand," chief executive Jonathan Ling said.

Fletcher chairman Rod Deane last month said the diversity of Fletcher's businesses across geographic and sector groups, and a strong balance sheet should help buffer the company from an economic downturn. He predicted the impact of a housing slump in New South Wales would be offset buy more demand in Queensland and Western Australia.

The company's shares fell 2.3% to NZ$6.35. In the pastb three months they've climbed 2%, outpacing the NZX 50 Index's 4% decline.

Fielders employs 890 people in Australia, the statement said. It is currently owned 60% by Hills Industries and 40% by FSR Investments.

By Jonathan Underhill

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