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Norway's Hydro bids to acquire Rio Tinto's ISAL aluminum smelter

London — Norsk Hydro has made a binding offer to acquire Rio Tinto's 100% share of the Icelandic aluminum plant ISAL, the company said Monday.

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The $345 million offer also includes Rio Tinto's 53% share of the Dutch anode facility Aluchemie and the 50% share in Swedish aluminum fluoride plant Alufluor.

ISAL produces 210,000 mt/year of liquid metal and a total of 230,000 mt/year of extrusion ingot for the European building, construction and transportation segments from its newly built casthouse.

"This will further strengthen Hydro's position as the preferred and leading extrusion ingot supplier in Europe," Hydro said in a statement.

With ISAL's 210,000 mt/year of aluminum output based on renewable power, Hydro would increase its total capacity in primary aluminum production to 2.4 million mt/year in 2018 and its share of production that is based on renewable energy to over 70%, the company added.

Hydro said it there were synergies with respect to technology creep, optimization of anode portfolio, and freight and handling.

The Icelandic plant runs on the same technology platform as Hydro's Husnes plant in Norway, where the company recently announced the reopening and technological upgrade of the second electrolysis line.

Hydro already has a 46.7% stake in Aluchemie, located in Rotterdam, which produces around 340,000 mt/year of anodes

Alufluor, a leading producer of high-purity aluminum fluoride used in the primary aluminum production process, is located in Helsingborg, Sweden. The company is currently owned by Rio Tinto (50%) and Yara International (50%).

In accordance with French and Dutch law, Hydro's offer triggers a statutory consultation with Rio Tinto employees and other stakeholders.

Given successful consultations, and approval from the EU competition authorities, the transaction was expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2018, Hydro said.

--Andy Blamey,
--Edited by E Shailaja Nair,