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CSR plans sale of energy assets; or does it? Conglomerate faces asbestos liabilities as it expands its Queensland ethanol and electricity interests

Posted by gasweek on 18 September, 2007

CSR chief executive Jerry Maycock had given his strongest indication yet that he is amenable to a break-up of the conglomerate, acknowledging the longer-term sense in separating its “eclectic mix of assets”. Analysts also point out that energy is emerging as a common area for the company’s sugar and building products arms. The sugar business is developing into areas including ethanol and electricity generation while the building products arm is growing its energy-efficient products range, reported The Australian Financial Review, (11/9/2007, p.20).

Something has got to give: Maycock told Bloomberg that keeping together CSR’s businesses, which span building materials, sugar, aluminium and property, probably did not make sense in the longer term. But CSR has growth plans for both its building products and sugar businesses. Broking analysts are sceptical about CSR’s ability to break up its business easily, noting complicating factors including where to house its asbestos liabilities.

The Australian Financial Review, 11/9/2007, p. 20

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