A Hardie Ask
It’s always special when James Hardie shareholders dial-in to Dublin for their annual general meeting. For nearly a decade now, the ASX and NYSE-listed firm has been domiciled in Ireland (having shifted from another haven for corporate taxminimisers, The Netherlands).
The 2001 move to Amsterdam arose partly from the desire to distance its building materials business from Australians who fell victim to asbestos exposure in the bad old days.
It was also, inevitably, about tax concessions. James Hardie has always had a keener eye for looking after its own bottom line than looking after people who contracted cancer from its asbestos products.
Its previous chief executive, Louis Gries, took home annual pay packets of up to $15 million.