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Rio Tinto Announces Sale of Alcan Composites (posted 9/23/09)

September 23, 2009
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Rio Tinto has entered into an agreement to sell Alcan Composites to Schweiter Technologies for a total consideration of $349 million.

Rio Tinto has entered into an agreement to sell Alcan Composites, part of the Alcan Engineered Products division, to Schweiter Technologies for a total consideration of $349 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, following completion by the parties of various conditions precedent to closing, including regulatory processes and employee consultations. Last week, Rio Tinto announced the sale of 56% of the Alcan Engineered Products Cable business to Platinum Equity.

“In the last three months, we have made significant inroads into divesting the downstream assets acquired with Alcan, including offers or agreed sales for the majority of Alcan Packaging and Cable,” said Guy Elliott, finance director for Rio Tinto. “Schweiter Technologies is well-placed to successfully develop the Composites business, and we are realizing further value for Rio Tinto shareholders.”

Schweiter Technologies is a Swiss-listed company that focuses on the manufacture of textile and semiconductor machinery. The business currently consists of the SSM Textile Machinery and Ismeca Semiconductor divisions, and the intention is that Composites will form a third stand-alone division within the group.

Alcan Composites is a sandwich composite materials manufacturing business focused on the display, architecture and wind energy sectors. Headquartered in Sins, Switzerland, it operates 16 plants in Europe (Germany and Switzerland), the U.S., South America, China and India, and employs approximately 3000 people. Its leading brands include Airex, Baltek, Dibond, Gator, Kapa, Forex, Sintra and Fome-Cor and the business serves a wide range of end-markets. In the last 12 months (to August 2009), Composites achieved sales of $649 million and an EBITDA of $54 million. (All figures are unaudited and on a proforma basis.)

Since March 2008, Rio Tinto has announced asset sales of $7 billion, including the Composites sale. In addition, Rio Tinto received a binding offer from Amcor in August 2009 for $2.025 billion for Alcan Packaging global pharmaceuticals, global tobacco, food Europe and food Asia divisions. During 2008, Rio Tinto announced divestments comprising the Greens Creek mine in Alaska for $750 million, its interest in the Cortez operation in Nevada for $1.695 billion and the Kintyre uranium project in Western Australia for $495 million.

Announced transactions in 2009 comprise the Group’s interest in the Ningxia aluminum smelter in China for $125 million, its Jacobs Ranch coal mine in the U.S. for $761 million, Alcan Packaging Food Americas to Bemis Inc. for $1.2 billion, the Corumba iron ore mine in Brazil and associated river logistics for $750 million, and the Potasio Rio Colorado potash project in Argentina and the Regina exploration assets in Canada for $850 million.

For more information, visit www.riotinto.com.

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