Alcan takeover seals packaging sell-off

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcan, Alcan packaging, Rio tinto group

UK-based mining group Rio Tinto has taken over Alcan in a $38.1bn
(€26.5bn) deal that will result in Alcan's packaging arm being
separated from its aluminum mining business.

In May, Alcan rejected a $28.8bn bid from aluminum rival Alcoa but this week it accepted all the conditions of the Rio Tinto offer. The aluminum firm has secured 88.2 per cent of Alcan's shares and is in the process of acquiring the rest after extending its offer of $101 per share for the remaining shareholders until 8 November. The takeover has spawned the creation of a giant aluminum firm called Rio Tinto Alcan but as part of the deal Alcan packaging will be sold off separately. In 2006, Alcan Packaging registered sales of $6bn - out of a total of $23.6bn for Alcan as a whole. Of this figure beauty packaging represented 13 per cent of the division's revenues although the segment may have expanded after Alcan opened a new production facility for fragrance packaging in Sarthe, France, in June this year. The future ownership of the packaging business, which is largely concerned with beverage can production, and to a lesser extent cosmetics packaging, has yet to be decided. In September, India's Business Standard newspaper reported that pharmaceutical packaging specialist Ess Dee, had put in a $1bn bid for Alcan Packaging. However, the rumour was not confirmed by the two companies involved.

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