Cementing its stake in the construction material company, Boral, Seven Group has named its chief executive, Ryan Stokes as its Chairman. The Kerry Stokes- controlled company, Seven Group now has a 69.6% stake in Boral and holds two of eight Boral board positions with the inclusion of its chief financial officer, Richard Richards, as a Director. Peter Alexander, a non-executive Director, and Deborah O’ Toole, the present Boral Director, will announce their retirement after Boral's annual general meeting in October.
The Seven Group, in its takeover tilt in recent months, had already cleared its plans about keeping a majority of independent directors on the Boral Board and this recent shuffle is an indication. However, it maintains that the Seven Group will be consistent in promoting the best interests of the shareholders. In September 2020, Seven Group had less than 20% stake in Boral but it subsequently increased its holdings via creep provisions and bolstered its efforts starting early 2021.
Earlier last month the Seven Group offered $6.5 per share. At that time, Boral overturned Seven Group’s offer because of the strong cash flow it commanded in the sale of its North America Building Project Business. That sale to Westlake generated a cash flow to the tune of $2.15Bn. Availability of significant surplus capital to be distributed to the shareholders was one of the reasons for its denial of the Seven Group’s offer. The Seven Group’s improved final offer of $7.40 per share was what ultimately swayed the decision in their favour.
Ryan Stokes aims to capitalise on the array of opportunities created by the ongoing housing construction boom and deliver financial targets by focusing on encouraging management within Boral’s transformative program. He said, “With a disciplined approach to operational management and capital management, the company can deliver industry-leading margins and returns on invested capital over the medium to long term.”