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Fletcher sells Corys to Sonepar as ex-Crane disposals near $90m

BUSINESSDESK: Fletcher Building, the construction and building materials group, has agreed to sell its New Zealand electrical products distribution business Corys Electrical to Sonepar SA, a global distribution company.

Fletcher acquired Corys when it bought Australia's Crane Group for $1.2 billion in a cash and scrip deal last year.

The sale of the business was for almost $20 million, based on the total value of sales of non-core Crane assets of nearly $90 million, which included $70 million for two Crane metals distribution businesses announced in July, the Auckland-based company says. 

It follows a restructuring of the distribution business into Corys and Mico Plumbing last year when it embarked on cost-cutting plans to arrest declining revenue.

Sonepar, a family-owned French company, operates in 35 countries and has annual sales of more than 15 billion euros, Fletcher says. The sale of Corys may take four months to complete.

Fletcher last month credited Crane as making the single-biggest contribution to revenue last year, helping lift sales by 20% to $8.87 billion.

The company's shares were unchanged at $6.65, and have gained 8.3% this year.