Historic shot of
the loading of
Rio’s three-billionth
tonne of iron ore
 
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 September 2009 – Global miner Rio Tinto has entered into an agreement to sell Alcan Composites “’ part of its Alcan Engineered Products division “’ to Swiss-based Schweiter Technologies for a total consideration of US$349 million (R2.8 billion).

Announcing the transaction here, Rio Tinto said the deal was expected to close by the end of the year. Last week, Rio Tinto announced the sale of 56% of the Alcan Engineered Products Cable business to Platinum Equity.

“In the last three months we have made significant inroads into divesting the downstream assets acquired with Alcan, including offers or agreed sales for the majority of Alcan Packaging and Cable,” said Rio Tinto finance director Guy Elliott. “Schweiter Technologies is well placed to successfully develop the composites business, and we are realising further value for Rio Tinto shareholders.”

Schweiter Technologies is a Swiss listed company focusing on the manufacture of textile and semi-conductor machinery. The business currently consists of the SSM Textile Machinery and Ismeca Semiconductor divisions, and the intention is that Composites will form a third stand-alone division within the group, consistent with Schweiter Technologies’ strategy of acquiring and running companies that are market leaders in their chosen segments.

Alcan Composites is a world leading sandwich composite materials manufacturing business focused on the display, architecture, and wind energy sectors. Headquartered in Sins, Switzerland, it operates 16 plants in Europe (Germany and Switzerland), the USA, South America, China and India, and employs approximately 3 000 people

In the last 12 months to August 2009 Composites achieved sales of US$649 million (R5 billion) and an EBITDA of US$54 million (R432 million).  

Since March 2008, Rio Tinto has announced asset sales of US$7 billion (R56 billion) including the Composites sale. In addition, Rio Tinto received a binding offer from Amcor in August 2009 for US$2.025 billion (R16.2 billion) for Alcan Packaging global pharmaceuticals, global tobacco, food Europe and food Asia divisions.

During 2008, Rio Tinto announced divestments comprising the Greens Creek mine in Alaska for US$750 million (R6 billion), its interest in the Cortez operation in Nevada for US$1.695 billion (R13.5 billion) and the Kintyre uranium project in Western Australia for US$495 million (R3.9 billion).

Announced transactions in 2009 comprise the Group’s interest in the Ningxia aluminium smelter in China for US$125 million (R1 billion), its Jacobs Ranch coal mine in the United States for US$761 million (R6.1 billion), Alcan Packaging Food Americas to Bemis Inc for US$1.2 billion (R9.6 billion), the Corumba iron ore mine in Brazil and associated river logistics for US$750 million (R6 billion) and the Potasio Rio Colorado potash project in Argentina and the Regina exploration assets in Canada for US$850 million (R6.8 billion).