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Australian Steel Company Offloads Aluminium Architectural Products Business

BlueScope Steel Limited today announced the US$190 million sale of The Vistawall Group, its North American aluminium architectural products business, to an affiliate of Oldcastle Glass®, Inc, a US subsidiary of CRH plc, an international building materials company. The sale will close on 29 June 2007.

BlueScope Steel has owned Vistawall since April 2004 when it acquired Butler Manufacturing Company for US$206 million. This acquisition included Butler Buildings (North America and China) and The Vistawall Group (North America and China). BlueScope Steel will continue to own and operate the Butler Buildings and Vistawall China businesses.

On announcing the transaction, Managing Director and CEO of BlueScope Steel, Mr Kirby Adams, said, "The time is right for BlueScope Steel to divest Vistawall North America in order to realise the outstanding value created in this non-steel business which was included in the strategic acquisition of Butler Manufacturing Company in 2004. The sale price represents a strong financial return for our shareholders and reflects the excellent work by BlueScope Steel and Vistawall's management and employees in creating a successful and strong business."

"The sale to Oldcastle will help set a new course for Vistawall," Mr Adams said. "BlueScope Steel will continue to focus on the growth of our core North American business through Butler Buildings, which has performed strongly since its acquisition in 2004, as well as our 50:50 JV in a steel mini-mill in Delta, Ohio."

BlueScope Steel's ability to turn the Butler Manufacturing Company from a loss-making enterprise into an industry leader by reducing costs and restoring profitability, demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to investing in smart, innovative downstream businesses.

"BlueScope Steel is committed to its North American strategy and to growing its core steel businesses in the region," he added.

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