World's Biggest Aluminum Group Is Created

Russian and Swiss firms merge

Russian aluminum producers Rusal and Sual together with Switzerland's Glencore said on March 27 that they had merged to form the world's number one aluminum producer. The new entity will be 66% owned by Rusal's shareholders, 22% owned by those of Sual and 12% owned by those of Glencore.

Called United Company Rusal, it is to be headed by former Rusal chief executive Alexander Bulygin, with the role of non-executive chairman given to former Sual chairman Viktor Vekselberg, the new entity said in a statement. Under the deal, former Rusal chairman Oleg Deripaska becomes the new group's main shareholder.

"The new company has pro forma sales of approximately $12 billion. The group's production capacity totals approximately four million tons of aluminum and one million tonn of alumina," the statement said.

The tie-up, one of the biggest in Russian corporate history, received the go-ahead earlier from both Russian anti-monopoly regulators and from European Union competition authorities.

The combined company "combines four bauxite mines, 10 alumina refineries, 14 aluminum smelters and three foil mills. The company's assets and over 100,000 employees are located in 17 countries across five continents," the statement added.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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