Rio Tinto again considering shedding Pacific Aluminium business

Rio Tinto is reportedly again considering the sale of its
Pacific Aluminium assets in Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian Financial Review reports that, after
abandoning a potential sale in 2013 due to a weak market, the Rio was again
attempting to divest its PacAlu division.

Credit Suisse has reportedly been enlisted to help finder a
buyer, though the metals and mining company would not comment on the claims of “people
aware of Rio’s plans”.

The AFR notes that there are “tentative signs” the market
for aluminium is improving, and this had prompted Rio Tinto to again consider
the sale. Rio bought Alcan for $US 38 billion in 2007, though it had been a
disastrous loss-maker. Rio’s aluminium division has seen write-impairments worth
$US 28 billion over six years.

PacAlu’s EBITDA was $US 252 million in 2013, and this
doubled last year.

The business division’s ANZ assets include Bell Bay AluminiumBoyne Smelters LimitedGladstone Power StationTomago Aluminium, and New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited.

Image: AAP