CHICAGO Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. has received permission from the European Commission to sell two plants in France to Trimet Aluminum AG and Electricité de France SA (EDF).
The commission said Dec. 13 that the deal gives joint control of the facilities to Trimet, Germanys largest aluminum producer, and Paris-based EDF.
Trimet announced in July that it had submitted a binding offer to purchase Montreal-based Rio Tinto Alcans plants in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Castelsarrasin, France. The company said the acquisitions would expand its portfolio of specialized light metal products and secure a long-term supply of aluminum oxide (amm.com, July 15).
EDF was expected to take a minority stake in the plants, which make aluminum wire for applications such as electric cabling for the energy industry and connecting elements for the automotive industry.
Rio Tinto Alcan announced plans to dispose of the sites a year ago (amm.com, Dec. 12, 2012). The company has since confirmed that it is reorganizing its commercial businesses in the Americas and Europe, which sources have said comes in part because divestitures in both regions have left the company with a smaller footprint and fewer pounds of metal to sell (amm.com, Dec. 6).
Besides the sale of its French operations, Rio Tinto Alcan also has sold a smelter in Sebree, Ky., to Chicago-based Century Aluminum Co. (amm.com, June 3) and decided to halt work on a multibillion-dollar smelter project in Paraguay (amm.com, Dec. 11).