CHICAGO Rio Tinto Alcan wants to continue to play a role
selling metal produced at its smelter and cast house in Sebree,
Ky., even after selling the operation to Century Aluminum Co.
later this spring, according to a letter to customers.
The company, which said it has already agreed to honor all
current commercial agreements for the sale of billet and ingot
from Sebree through the end of 2013, said it is also in talks
with Century to maintain some sourcing presence at the facility
in 2014 and beyond.
It is our strong hope and desire that over the next 60
days we will be able to work out an arrangement with Century
Aluminum in which (Rio Tinco Alcan) will be able to continue to
source product for you from the Sebree facility, Rio
Tinto Alcans commercial director for North America F.
James Dickson wrote in an April 29 letter to customers.
The company did not specify in the letter how it hoped to stay
involved in the sourcing of metal from the facility after 2013,
such as through an off-take agreement or through some kind of
marketing deal. A spokesman for Rio Tinto Alcan did not return
a call seeking comment.
Century Aluminum Co. agreed in late April to acquire Rio Tinto
Alcans operations in Sebree for $61 million in cash and
the assumption of $4 million in liabilities. Monterey-based
Century also received $71 million in working capital from
Montreal-based Rio Tinto Alcan as part of the deal (
amm.com, April 29
Rio Tinto Alcan had said the deal was expected to close by the
end of June, but the customer letter, dated the same day the
sale was announced, said the deal is expected to be completed
by the end of May.
Century is working for an early June close of the
Sebree transaction, a Century spokesman said in an e-mail to
The Century spokesman told AMM
the company does not
anticipate any immediate changes to customer and
supplier agreements at Sebree as a result of the ownership
change. All existing agreements will remain in place and
will continue to be honored, the spokesman said,
declining to comment further on Rio Tinto Alcans possible
off-take or marketing role at the facility following the sale.
Through the end of this year, Rio Tinto Alcan said in the
letter that it would continue to handle order entry, sales,
invoicing, product specifications, and other customer and
technical support services with its existing staff at its
Cleveland sales office.
reported in March that Rio Tinto Alcan hoped to
maintain a presence in the United States after selling Sebree
given a strong customer base and brand presence, as well as an
expected increase in aluminum demand in the country. Among the
options discussed for achieving that goal was retaining a stake
in Sebree (
amm.com, March 20