Swiss Algroup Says Merger Talks With Alcan, Pechiney 'Advanced'

ZURICH: Swiss-based metals company Algroup (Alusuisse-Lonza Holding AG) confirmed Aug. 10 it was engaged in "advanced discussions" with metals firms Alcan Aluminum Ltd. of Canada, and Pechiney of France concerning "potential business combinations." It was not certain, however, that these discussions would result in any concrete agreement, Algroup said. International media reported that the three companies were in merger talks to create the world's biggest aluminum company. Pittsburgh-based Alcoa is currently the world's largest aluminum company. In March merger talks of Algroup and the German Viag AG broke down. The proposed merger, which was slated for completion by August, was not well received by the market nor by shareholders. Algroup then said Viag had placed too low a relative value on Algroup. Algroup has metals, packaging, and chemicals activities.

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