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Aluminium alert: Aleris takeover edges nearer

The European Commission has approved Novelis’ proposed acquisition of Aleris Corporation after regulatory scrutiny.

Commission approval is dependent on the sale of Aleris’ sheets plant in Duffel, Belgium, which produces aluminium for the automotive and speciality markets. Novelis says it is ‘working expeditiously’ to find buyers for the plant.  

The company is now trying to clear the sale with the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation. In September, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the purchase because of concern over higher prices for aluminium sheets.

According to Reuters, the department described Aleris as ‘an aggressive competitor’ and said the deal would give Novelis up to 60% of projected domestic capacity. Aleris, based in Cleveland, Ohio operates 13 production facilities in US, Europe, and Asia.

‘Step forward’

‘Today’s announcement is another step forward in bringing Novelis and Aleris together, which will benefit our customers, employees and the aluminium industry as a whole,’ says Steve Fisher, president and ceo.

‘Overall, this transaction will strengthen our ability to compete against steel in the automotive market, meet growing customer demand for aluminium, achieve our recycling goals, and bolster our sustainability platform worldwide. In addition, it will further enhance our strategic position in Asia and diversify our overall product portfolio.’

The company expects to close the transaction by 21 January 2020. Novelis is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries based in Mumbai.

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