Jamaica
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Russians win Alpart bid with US$295mn

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Russian aluminum giant Rusal emerged as the successful bidder in an auction Tuesday (Apr.20) for Jamaican alumina refinery and bauxite miner Alpart, offering a base purchase price of US$295mn, Alpart majority owner Kaiser Aluminum announced. Rusal had "at least" one other competitor in the auction, Kaiser spokesperson Scott Lamb told BNamericas. "The bidding process began at 9am Eastern Time and was still going very late into the evening." The Russians signed a "stalking horse" agreement with Kaiser before the auction with a tentative bid of US$215mn, BNamericas reported earlier this month. The agreement did not guarantee the bidder would acquire Alpart; instead, the signing indicated Kaiser would accept the US$215mn offer and purchase price. Kaiser expects the US bankruptcy court in Delaware state to rule on the winning bid April 26, giving Alpart minority shareholder Hydro Aluminum 30 days thereafter to buy Kaiser's interest at a price specified by the court. Hydro declined to comment on the matter when contacted by BNamericas Wednesday. Houston-based Kaiser (OTC BB: KLUCQ) is selling its 65% share in Alpart as part of a corporate strategy to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Norway's Hydro holds the remaining 35% share in Alpart, which has a 1.65Mt/y capacity and through a mining JV controls bauxite mining operations with a current capacity of 3.5Mt/y. Rusal (Russian Aluminum) is a privately held company that was created in March 2000 when shareholders of Sibirsky Aluminium and core shareholders of Sibneft merged assets.

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