Mixed success for Rio Tinto divestment

Rio Tinto has completed the $377.4 million divestment of Alcan Composites to Swiss machinery group Schweiter Technologies, but the 56% sale of the Alcan Engineered Products Cable division has fallen through.

Rio Tinto has completed the sale of Alcan Composites to Swiss machinery group Schweiter Technologies for US$349 million (around $377.4 million).

Alcan Composites is part of the Alcan Engineered Products division, which Rio Tinto has progressively divested over the course of the year.

Rio has also received a US$2.025 billion ($2.2 billion) offer from Amcor for the Alcan Packaging global pharmaceuticals, global tobacco, food Europe and food Asia divisions.

However, the 56% sale of the Alcan Engineered Products Cable division for an undisclosed sum to Platinum Equity, announced in September has been cancelled.

“The deal will not be completed as the sale has been terminated in accordance with the terms of the sale and purchase agreement,” the company said in a statement, without commenting further.

According to Schweiter, Alcan Composites is the global market leader in core materials for sandwich constructions, particularly for use in wind farms.

The company also develops composite panels for high-quality facades and display applications.

Since February 2008, Rio Tinto has announced asset sales of US$8.3 billion ($9 billion).

The company completed US$3.1 billion ($3.4 billion) of the sales in 2008 and has this year agreed to US$5.2 billion ($5.6 billion) of asset sales.

Some of these other transactions include Ningxia, Potasio Rio Colorado, Corumbá, Jacobs Ranch, Alcan Packaging Food Americas, Maules Creek and the Cloud Peak IPO.

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