Russia's Rusal Buys 56% Stake In Aluminum Group

Sale part of strategy that would create the world's biggest producer of aluminum.

Russian aluminum company Rusal said Nov. 3 it had bought a 56.2% stake in Italian producer EurAllumina. Rusal bought the stake in the Italian group from Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto, while the remainder of the company is owned by Swiss metals giant Glencore.

EurAllumina is to be consolidated in the enlarged United Company Rusal group, which is in the process of forming through a merger of Rusal, rival Russian producer Sual and the aluminum assets of Glencore. EurAllumina will provide an additional annual input of 600,000 tons of alumina.

The deal to merge Rusal, Sual and Glencore aluminum assets fits with Kremlin-backed plans to consolidate the Russian metals industry to protect the country's strategic interests and to create a global champion. The merger was agreed in October and will be finalized in April next year, the companies said.

United Company Rusal is set to become the world's biggest producer of aluminum and alumina, with combined production of four million tons of aluminum and 11 million tons of alumina a year. Sales are expected to total $12.2 billion.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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