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Merger creates new aluminium giant

Alcan was one of the companies to make the headlines this week


The merger between Canada's Alcan Aluminium group and Switzerland's Algroup has been finalised. The exchange of shares, required under the terms of the merger, was completed late on Tuesday.

The new aluminium to packaging group, known as Alcan, will be the world's second biggest aluminium producer after United States-based company, Alcoa, and it will be worth SFr22 billion ($12.4 billion).

In the share transaction 17.1 Alcan shares were exchanged for each Algroup share tendered. Alcan said some 6.7 million Algroup shares, or 99.52 per cent of Algroup's outstanding shares, were tendered to the offer.

Dresdner Kleinwort Benson analyst, Warwick Jones, said the merged company would assume a leading position in several segments of the aluminium market, especially as a supplier to the automotive industry.

"Our customer focus, our technologies, our skills, our reputation and our track record will make us the preferred global solutions provider to our customers," said Jacques Bougie, president and chief executive of Alcan.

The merger was first announced in August last year, and was intended to include French group, Péchiney. But that deal was shelved last March after the European Commission objected over concerns that the mega-merger would create a monopoly.

Péchiney formally withdrew from the planned merger last April, saying the deal had failed because of Alcan's refusal to give up its 50 per cent stake in the German aluminium producer, Norf.

Both Alcan and Algroup agreed at the time to proceed with their merger, announcing revised terms in June, which improved the offer to Algroup shareholders by five per cent.

The newly merged group has operations in 37 countries and employs 53,000 staff. The corporate head office will be located in Montreal, Canada.

The merger will affect no jobs at Algroup's operations in Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies

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