The path has been cleared for Novelis to complete its acquisition of Aleris Corporation after the former agreed to divest from the latter’s Duffel, Belgium plant to an approved third party.
Novelis, an aluminum rolling and recycling company, will integrate Aleris, which supplies rolled aluminum products internationally, into its fold expeditiously after the European Commission accepted an offer from the Liberty House Group to purchase the Duffel facility at €310mn ($337mn).
Aleris’ US assets being acquired by Novelis were under arbitration after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) objected to the acquisition, citing unfair competition practices. Novelis agreed to divest from Aleris’ Kentucky plant post acquisition too after the DOJ won the arbitration.
Aleris announced on Tuesday that its Lewisport, Kentucky aluminum rolling mill will remain idle until April 20 after initially suspending operations on March 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a dramatic contraction in demand. Most of the mill’s employees and automotive staff have been furloughed.
The Lewisport rolling mill uses direct-chill casting technology to produce aluminum rolled sheets in various industries and for many applications, including bare and coasted rolled sheet. It opened three years ago at a cost of $400mn.
Novelis, the world’s largest aluminum recycler, has customers in the automotive, beverage can and specialties industries and has 23 facilities across nine countries. The company is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industies, which is part of the Mumbai-based Aditya Biria Group.