BP Amoco, Alcoa Expand Through Acquisitions

BP Amoco PLC, the Anglo-U.S. petroleum producer, has agreed to acquire Burmah Castrol PLC, the UK independent lubricants and chemicals group, for around 3 billion sterling (US$4.8 billion). By acquiring the Castrol brand, BP Amoco gains a major international name in lubricants, which it currently lacks. It will merge the lubricants businesses of both groups into a single entity under the Castrol brand, selling its products through its 28,000 retail sites and to automotive, industrial, and marine customers around the world. The new division will be headed by BP Amoco's David Baldry. Burmah's specialty chemicals business is likely to be sold. Also announced Tuesday, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa Inc., the world's largest aluminum company, said it has agreed to buy Salt Lake City-based Cordant Technologies Inc., a diversified maker of castings for aircraft turbine engines, for $2.9 billion. The combined company will have annual sales of $18.8 billion and nearly 125,000 employees.

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