James Hardie Industries plc shares slide on completion of Fermacell acquisition

Shares in fibre cement building products company James Hardie Industries plc (ASX: JHX) are down 0.7% to $22.45 at the time of writing as investors react to the announcement the company has completed its acquisition of German-based drywall contractor Fermacell for 473 million euros.

The acquisition will boost James Hardie’s employee count across Europe by more than 800, with the company hoping to leverage Fermacell’s broad European footprint to grow its fibre cement business, with France and Scandinavian regions also on the radar.

A note out of Credit Suisse in mid-March saw analysts upgrade James Hardie to outperform from neutral with a $24.75 price target hinged on robust US housing market activity assisting James Hardie to assert itself as a renovation products retailer.

James Hardie will include a European Building Products segment in its results report as of the first quarter of FY19 to outline the outcomes of the Fermacell acquisition, with a Fermacell integration update available for investors on May 22 shortly after James Hardie releases its fourth-quarter results and annual report on May 17 and 18 respectively.

S&P/ASX 200 James Hardie competitors are faring slightly better today with CSR Limited (ASX: CSR) up 2.1% to $5.21 and Adelaide Brighton Ltd. (ASX: ABC) also up to $6.21.

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