Alcoa Inc., the largest aluminum maker in the United States, will split itself into two publicly traded companies, the New York City-based company announced Monday.
The first company, which will keep the Alcoa name, will retain its focus on Alcoa’s mining and metal production. It will handle the mining of bauxite ore, which is refined into aluminum that is used in everything from aircraft to soft-drink cans. The other spinoff will focus on high-technology products.
Alcoa said it expects to complete the move in the first half of 2016.
Over the last seven years, the nearly 127-year-old company built a set of new higher-margin businesses under CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, through almost $5 billion worth of acquisitions and several divestitures. The spinoff, which is yet to be named, will acquire these businesses, which include providing metal products for transportation, industrial gas turbines and construction.
In the 12 months through June, Alcoa’s higher-margin businesses earned $14.5 billion in revenue and $2.2 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, compared to its commodity-focused segment, which netted $13.2 billion in revenue and $2.8 billion in earnings over the same period. About 40 percent of the higher-margin businesses’ revenue came from the aerospace sector, which was a key growth area for that period.
The decision comes in the wake of a global oversupply in aluminum markets, caused by flagging growth in China, where the price of the metal has fallen by 17 percent this year.
“With the unanimous support of Alcoa’s board we now take the next step; launching two leading-edge companies, each with distinct and compelling opportunities,” Kleinfeld said in a statement.
Kleinfeld will lead the new, unnamed company and remain in charge of Alcoa throughout the transition. Alcoa shares rose 6.4 percent in pre-market trading on the news.