BlueScope Steel Announces Plans to Acquire Butler Manufacturing

BlueScope Steel Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia, has announced it will acquire Butler Manufacturing Co., parent company of Terrell, Texas-based Vistawall Group. BlueScope said it would offer $22.50 (USD) per share for approximately 6.4 million shares, and assume net debt of $60 million, representing a total outlay of $204 million. The two companies have reached an agreement on the terms of a negotiated merger agreement, and, according to a news release issued by BlueScope, the Butler board of directors will recommend that shareholders accept the BlueScope offer. The acquisition is subject to approval by Butler shareholders and by regulatory authorities in the United States. The acquisition is expected to be complete within three months.

"BlueScope Steel appreciates the value of Butler's many strong brands, including its leading-brand Butler pre-engineered metal buildings, industry-leading distribution and our excellent design expertise and technical capabilities," said John Holland, Butler chief executive officer. "Being part of their organization will accelerate the revitalization of our North American buildings operations and enable BlueScope Steel to combine forces with Butler's outstanding China business to capitalize on the opportunities we have in this dynamic region while opening the door to more global potential."

According to Butler, the acquisition is consistent with its desire to strengthen operations. The company announced last October that its board had authorized management to explore various strategic operations, including solicitation of private investment capital, asset sales and the sale of the company.

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