Aluminum Diecaster, Distributor Sold by Rio Tinto Alcan

New owner aims to be European leader in steering, powertrain components


The new global aluminum concern Rio Tinto Alcan announced sold its share in two aluminum diecasting operations in Slovenia — Alcan Koper d.o.o., which had been wholly owned — and Alcan Tomos d.o.o., of which Rio Tinto Alcan owned 67%. Both plants have been acquired by Hidria Rotomatika d.o.o., a Slovenian firm, though the value of the sale has not been announced.

Iztok Seljak, v.p. of Hidria Corp. stated: "As a part of its focused strategy, Hidria is becoming a European leader in automotive components for steering and powertrain, among which, sophisticated high-pressure diecast and machined aluminum parts are playing an important role. This acquisition is consistent with our strategy and provides additional precious human, technological and other resources for further strengthening our leading position."

The sale is similar to other divestitures by primary aluminum producers of their automotive components operations. Earlier this year, Hydro Aluminium sold a series of aluminum casting plants to Nemak, and more recently Alcoa Inc. sold its Alcoa Automotive Castings operations to a private investment group.

Alcan Tomos facility produces aluminum diecastings for the European automotive industry, which are distributed to customers through Alcan Koper.

"Over a year ago Alcan began a strategic review of the diecastings activity,” explained Christel Bories, president and CEO, Engineered Products for Rio Tinto Alcan. “.After evaluating all options, it was determined that the size and potential of this activity is no longer consistent with our Engineered Products' portfolio of businesses focused on sustainable growth.”

Rio Tinto Alcan is the primary aluminum business unit of Rio Tinto Plc. The mining group acquired Alcan Inc. earlier this year in a $38.1-billion friendly takeover.

"This decision underlines our commitment to focus our efforts not only on producing components, but more so on developing innovative lightweight solutions for fast-growing segments in the automotive and transport industry," stated Wolfgang Schmitz, president of Rio Tinto Alcan's Engineered and Automotive Solutions. "Our aluminum product offerings, from crash management systems and suspension applications to composites modules, effectively support global customers in striving for CO 2 reductions through lower weight vehicles," he added.

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