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Algroup and Alcan announce new merger plans

Alcan of Canada has reached an agreement with the Swiss Algroup on a revised merger.

The two aluminium companies have been in negotiations since efforts to form a three-way merger with France's Pechiney fell foul of the European Commission's competition authority in April.

With the support of the Swiss financier Martin Ebner's BZ Group, which has a 34 per cent stake in Algroup, Alcan Aluminium has now announced an agreed cash and stock offer.

"We are pleased with the outcome of the negotiations with Alcan, and we are certain that the combination with Algroup will be an important step in the creation of a formidable player in the aluminium and packaging industries," said BZ Group Chairman Martin Ebner.

Alcan has improved its bid to Algroup shareholders, offering 17.1 Alcan shares for each Algroup share, plus a cash incentive of SFr225 per share.

The new offer values Algroup at around SFr1,165 per share, compared to its close on the Swiss Stock Exchange Wednesday of SFr1,068.

Algroup shares rose this week on market talk that Alcan had offered to pay about 10 per cent more per Algroup share than the current market value.

Alcan's original bid was an all share offer of 20 of its own shares for each Algroup share. The new cash element will cost it almost an extra SFr1.7 billion.

"The offer is about five per cent better than the original offer," said Algroup spokeswoman Christine Menz.

It remains unclear whether Pechiney, the French aluminium group that was part of the earlier three-way merger attempt, will make a counter-offer.

swissinfo with agencies


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