Aditya Birla group's Hindalco Industries has bought 45 percent stake in Utkal Alumina International (Utkal) from Canadian metal giant Alcan for an undisclosed sum.
The Utkal joint venture was established in 1992 between the Birlas and Alcan, with the Birlas owning majority stake of 55 percent. The venture involved the development of a new bauxite mine and alumina refinery in Orissa.
Alcan, the target of a friendly $38 billion takeover offer from Rio Tinto, said in April this year that it planned to sell the stake in Utkal Alumina.
Alcan is pleased to have reached this agreement with Hindalco regarding the sale of its participating interest in Utkal, said President and CEO of Alcan Bauxite and Alumina, Jacynthe Cote. The announcement was made last week.
The company values its long-standing partnership with Hindalco, with whom it remains associated as technology supplier to the Utkal project and other Hindalco projects, Cote said.
Alcan will continue to focus on growing and executing its pipeline of projects in bauxite-rich regions, while leveraging its world-leading alumina refining technology, she added.
The deal is expected to be completed over the next 30 days.
Hindalco, in a press release said the transaction marked the complete exit of Alcan from the Utkal project.
Alcan will have no surviving rights or obligations as Hindalco becomes the 100 percent owner of the Utkal project, it said.
Hindalco and Alcan will continue to have a cordial business association given that Alcan has ongoing contracts with Novelis. It is also the technology provider to the Utkal alumina project and some other alumina projects of Hindalco, the press release added.
According to industry watchers, Alcan has quit the joint venture that it termed too risky.
We have carefully weighed the opportunity and risk presented by the Utkal project and, given the constraints within the governance structure that limit Alcan's ability to participate in key decisions, believe that we have acted in the best interests of all our stakeholders, Cote had said in April, indicating the impending sale of its stake.
Utkal is currently executing a 1.5 million metric ton alumina refinery in Orissa in addition to developing a new bauxite mine.