Boral ‘cultures’ second business mirroring Headwaters


Sources: Boral Industries Ltd.; CP staff

By Don Marsh

Acquisition of a 50 percent Owens Corning Masonry Products (See Owens Corning sets two-phase, $90 million Masonry Products sale to Boral) stake follows recent Boral financing and portfolio-strengthening measures in Australia and the U.S. In August, the company announced plans for a $490 million equity offering that dovetailed a $75 million buyout of the remaining 50 percent stake in Irvine, Calif.-based concrete and clay roofing product leader MonierLifetile from Germany’s Monier Group; and, $280 million capital commitment to Australian quarry and wallboard production businesses.

The interest in Masonry Products, to be renamed Boral Stone Products, positions Boral USA with a second parallel business to Utah-based Headwaters Inc.: Headwaters Resources and Boral Material Technologies are the top guns in processing and marketing concrete-grade fly ash and other coal combustion residuals. Through ownership of the Eldorado Stone and Cultured Stone brands, respectively, Headwaters Building Products and Boral Stone Products lead the precast concrete veneer business.

Management projects Boral Stone Products will log $100 million in sales during 2011, when U.S. housing starts are projected to be in the 475,000–590,000 range. By the time the company acquires the remaining stake from Owens Corning, management anticipates the veneer business will be on pace to reach $200 million–$220 million in annual sales—a level supported by a 1.5 million-housing start level forecast for mid-decade.