Novelis will have to divest from Aleris’ aluminum auto body sheet operations in North America to complete its acquisition of Aleris, according to an arbitration order.
The order was part of an arbitration on a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Novelis’ acquisition of Aleris in September 2019. The lawsuit alleged that the aluminum auto body sheet operations are a relevant product market and by acquiring Aleris’ operations of this business in North America, the aluminum maker, a subsidiary of India’s Hindalco Industries, would control around 60pc of the market leaving no room for competition in the market.
As part of the arbitration order, Novelis will have to divest Aleris’ Lewisport, Kentucky plant that produces aluminum auto body sheets but can go ahead and complete the acquisition of other Aleris assets, including the latter’s plant in Duffel, Belgium after it receives an approval from the European Commission.
Steve Fisher, president and chief executive officer, Novelis, said the decision ignored the reality and competition aluminum has faced against steel for so many years.