Boral JV to boost growth

Local market expected to begin weaker after Fed news pushes Wall St lower.

Boral (BLD) says its new American joint venture will be strategically significant, bolstering its market leadership position for the long term across Asia, Australasia and the Middle East.

Addressing shareholders at the Boral's annual general meeting, chairman Bob Every said the $US1.6 billion plasterboard and ceilings joint venture with USG would create a formidable competitive advantage.

"This underpins Boral's goal of achieving long-term growth in Asia, one of the fastest growing plasterboard regions in the world," Dr Every said.

"The transaction not only positions the gypsum business for accelerated future growth but also significantly strengthens Boral's balance sheet."

Most of USG's upfront cash payment of $US500 million will be used to reduce Boral's debt, he said.