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James Hardie Industries to buy Germany’s Fermacell: Reuters

Australia-listed James Hardie Industries Plc (JHX.AX) said on Wednesday it would buy the German holding company of fiber gypsum board maker Fermacell GmbH from Xella International SA in a deal worth 473 million euros ($548 million).

The fiber cement product maker said the purchase of holding company XI (DL) Holdings GmbH will also include units other than Fermacell.

James Hardie intends to fund the deal with debt and expects it to be accretive in the second full fiscal year after its close. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the company’s 2018 fiscal year.

“Fermacell will diversify our geographic, product and end-market portfolio, complementing our strong positions in North America and Australasia,” said Louis Gries, chief executive of James Hardie, in a statement.

The company has a manufacturing presence in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

The stock was trading 0.9 percent lower at A$19.06 on the Australian Stock Exchange as at 2336 GMT, while the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was 0.2 percent lower.