Rio Sells its Alcan Composites

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 1 December, 2009 - 13:23

Rio Tinto (RIO), one of the major players in the mining industry of the world, which is listed in both the Australian and London stock exchange has sold Alcan Composites to Schweiter Technologies, a Swiss based company for $US349 million. It is to be mentioned that the miner is currently divesting the divisions of Alcan. The Australia based mining giant is selling assets to ease off the debt burden it was bearing following an $US37 billion acquisition of aluminium maker Alcan in the year 2007. According to Rio Tinto, till this day the company has declared the asset sales which worth $US8.3 billion since February 2008.

The divestments of Rio Tinto touched $US3.1 billion in 2008. In 2009, the miner agreed to come up with asset sales that worth $US5.2 billion. In the month of August, the company received a binding offer from Amcor that worth $US2 billion for its various divisions that includes Alcan Packaging and pharmaceuticals division, tobacco and European and Asian food divisions. Rio also confirmed that the proposed sale of 56 percent of its Alcan Engineered Products Cable division to Platinum Equity for an anonymous amount which was announced on September 14th would not occur as the deal was cancelled.

An Eventful Year for Rio Tinto

2009 was one of the most eventful years for the miner with its declaration of forming a joint venture with BHP Billiton for operating the Western Australian iron ore assets which created a huge buzz in the international market along with the arrest of its executive in China. The join venture would help Rio and BHP to establish the biggest iron ore operation all over the world something that has created a lot of controversy due to the fact that many others involved in the industry believes that this could eliminate competition from the market.