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Foreign investment proposal merger of Australian Chemical Holdings Ltd Sidney Cooke Ltd



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TREASURER

EMBARGO /<(U>

STATEMENT BY THE TREASURER,. THE HON JOHN HOWARD, MP

' · FOREIGN INVESTMENT PROPOSAL MERGER OF AUSTRALIAN CHEMICAL HOLDINGS LTD AND SIDNEY COOKE LTD

The Government has approved a foreign investment proposal by Australian

Chemical Holdings Ltd and Sidney Cooke Ltd to merge their respective

engineering and fastener businesses.

\ ; The proposal comes within the scope of the Government's foreign

investment policy because Hercules Inc of the USA holds a controlling

interest of about 60 per cent in Australian Chemical Holdings.

Sidney Cooke is an Australian-owned listed company associated with

Adelaide Steamship Company Ltd.

The merger will be achieved by establishing a new company to be

owned as to 60 per cent by Australian Chemical Holdings and

40 per cent by Sidney Cooke. The new company will acquire the

engineering interests of the two parties. The new venture will

be jointly controlled by the two partners and Australian beneficial

ownership will be approximately 64 per cent.

The merger has been carefully examined under the foreign investment

policy to determine whether it would lead to net economic benefits.

Implementation of the proposal will promote industry rationalization

and lead to a scale of operations such as to justify increased

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expenditure on new technology and product development. It will

also support the parties' long term prospects in the industry

and enable them to compete more effectively with growing levels

of imports.

In the short term there will be some redundancies but the parties contend that

after the initial rationalisation of their facilities the joint

venture should ensure more stable employment opportunities in the longer

term.

Before reaching this decision, the Government consulted both the

Victorian and New South Wales Governments.

CANBERRA ACT

1 November 1982

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