Alcoa has sold its packaging equipment business to American Industrial Partners (AIP) and management for approximately $45 million in cash. The sale is part of Alcoa's previously announced (January 2003) divestiture program to sell certain non-core businesses. Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down debt. The packaging equipment business has four facilities in North America and has approximately 250 employees. Alcoa will continue to serve customers throughout the packaging sector through its other various packaging businesses, including the Alcoa Rigid Packaging Division, Alcoa Consumer Products, Alcoa Closure Systems, Alcoa Food Packaging, Alcoa Flexible Packaging, Alcoa Kama, Alcoa Protective Packaging and Southern Graphic Systems. AIP is a private equity firm that has been investing in public and private companies since 1989.