Australian diversified conglomerate CSR edged a step closer to a large-scale demerger this week.

Shareholders were informed at a special briefing yesterday [Monday] that CSR will split its Australian and US arms. The demerger will see Rinker, the US-based construction materials division, get a separate listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. Rinker would be made up of more than 20 businesses. Over 65% of CSR’s profits are now generated outside Australia.

CSR will keep its sugar milling, aluminium and home building supply divisions.

CSR shareholders will be asked to approve the plan on 25 March 2003. Investors seem to endorse the plan, with shares in the company rising $A0.23 to $A6.42 following the 10 February 2003 announcement. Once the demerger is approved by shareholders, it will be subject to final approval by the Federal Court, expected on 28 March.

Meanwhile CSR has forecast group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at A$374m for the year ending 31 March.