16 Jul 2008

Investment group increases holding in Fletcher Building

7:29 am on 16 July 2008

Macquarie Group has increased its stake in Fletcher Building, fuelling speculation the company could be a takeover target.

The investment group almost doubled its shareholding in the building products company to 9.45% a few months ago.

That's just under the 10% stake Macquarie would need to block a takeover bid, or control the price of another offer.

Forsyth Barr head of research Rob Mercer says Fletcher Building would be attractive to the right buyer.

He thinks the most likely would be the Australian-listed building firm Boral.

Mr Mercer also says Macquarie, which has a real estate group, would be well placed to launch its own takeover offer.

He says Macquarie has a very strong ability to launch or co-ordinate transactions.

Macquarie Group says it does not comment on its investments, other than information lodged with the regulators and exchange.

Shares in Fletcher Building closed down 14c at $6.11 on the NZX 50 on Tuesday.