Rio Tinto offer for Alcan: French Government approval received



    LONDON, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - Rio Tinto has received approval from the French
Government under the French foreign investment regulations for the proposed
acquisition of Alcan by a subsidiary of Rio Tinto.
    The approval was confirmed following a meeting between Christine Lagarde,
French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Employment and Paul Skinner,
chairman of Rio Tinto.
    Receipt of this, and other regulatory clearances, is a condition to Rio
Tinto's offer to acquire the outstanding shares in Alcan.
    Following the meeting Paul Skinner said, "We have had a very constructive
and positive dialogue with the French Government over the past two months.
During our discussions we underlined our strong, long-term commitment to
France, which provides an attractive environment in which to invest, conduct
business and engage in world leading R&D. The approval by the French
government brings us a step closer to completion of the transaction, which we
are aiming to achieve in the fourth quarter".
    Rio Tinto announced on 28 September 2007 that it had received approval
for the transaction from its shareholders.

    About Rio Tinto

    Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the
UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited,
which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
    Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral
resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and
uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and
iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia
and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe
and southern Africa.

    Additional information

    The offer to purchase all of the issued and outstanding common shares of
Alcan for US$101 per common share in a recommended, all cash transaction (the
"Offer") is being made by Rio Tinto Canada Holding Inc. (the "Offeror"), an
indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto. The Offer represents a total
consideration for Alcan common shares of approximately US$38.1 billion.
    The Offer is open for acceptance until 6.00 p.m., Canadian Eastern Time,
on October 23, 2007, unless extended. The Offer is subject to a number of
conditions including valid acceptances by holders of not less than 66 2/3 per
cent of Alcan shares on a fully diluted basis and the receipt of various
governmental and regulatory approvals. The board of Rio Tinto has approved the
transaction. The Offer is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007.
    This announcement is for information purposes only and does not
constitute or form part of any offer or invitation to purchase, otherwise
acquire, subscribe for, sell, otherwise dispose of or issue, or any
solicitation of any offer to sell, otherwise dispose of, issue, purchase,
otherwise acquire or subscribe for, any security. The Offer (as the same may
be varied or extended in accordance with applicable law) is being made
exclusively by means of, and subject to the terms and conditions set out in,
the offer and takeover bid circular delivered to Alcan and filed with Canadian
provincial securities regulators and the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission (the "SEC") and mailed to Alcan shareholders.
    The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in certain
jurisdictions may be restricted by law and therefore persons in such
jurisdictions into which this announcement is released, published or
distributed should inform themselves about and observe such restrictions.
    In connection with the Offer, an offer and takeover bid circular as well
as ancillary documents such as a letter of transmittal and a notice of
guaranteed delivery have been filed with the Canadian securities regulatory
authorities and the SEC and an Alcan directors' circular with respect to the
Offer has also been filed. A Tender Offer statement on Schedule TO (the
"Schedule TO") and a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9
(the "Schedule 14D-9") has also been filed with the SEC.

    SHAREHOLDERS OF ALCAN ARE URGED TO READ THE OFFER AND TAKEOVER BID
CIRCULAR (INCLUDING THE LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL AND NOTICE OF GUARANTEED
DELIVERY), THE SCHEDULE TO (INCLUDING THE OFFER AND TAKEOVER BID CIRCULAR,
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL AND RELATED TENDER OFFER DOCUMENTS) AND THE SCHEDULE
14D-9 AS THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFER.

    The offer and takeover bid circular as well as other materials filed with
the Canadian securities regulatory authorities are available electronically
without charge at www.sedar.com. The Schedule TO and the Schedule 14D-9 are
available electronically without charge at the SEC's website, www.sec.gov.
Materials filed with the SEC or the Canadian securities regulatory authorities
may also be obtained without charge at Rio Tinto's website, www.riotinto.com.
    While the Offer is being made to all holders of Alcan common shares, this
announcement does not constitute an offer or a solicitation in any
jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. The Offer is not
being made in, nor will deposits be accepted in, any jurisdiction in which the
making or acceptance thereof would not be in compliance with the laws of such
jurisdiction. However, the Offeror may, in its sole discretion, take such
action as it may deem necessary to extend the Offer in any such jurisdiction.
    The Offer is made to holders in France of Alcan common shares admitted to
trading on Euronext-Paris. An announcement including the main information
relating to the Offer documents has been prepared and released pursuant to
article 231-24 of the AMF General Regulation and contains information relating
to how and in which time limit Alcan shareholders residing in France can
accept this Offer. The offer document and the announcement prepared pursuant
to article 231-24 of the AMF General Regulation, as amended on 17 September
2007, are available free of charge to the holders of Alcan Shares registered
with Euroclear France who request it from Citi France, Global Transaction
Services, Operations department, 19 le Parvis la Défense 7, 92073 Paris la
Défense. They are also available on the internet at the following address:
www.computershare.com/Rio-AlcanFrenchofferdocument.
    The Offer is made to holders in Belgium of Alcan common shares and/or
certificates admitted to trading on Euronext Brussels (the "IDRs"). A Belgian
supplement, addressing issues specific to holders of Alcan common shares
and/or IDRs in Belgium (the "Belgian Supplement") was approved by the Belgian
Banking, Finance and Insurance Commission (the "BFIC") on 2 August 2007. A
notice of extension of the Offer was approved by the BFIC on 18 September
2007. The offer document, the Belgian Supplement and the notice of extension
are available free of charge to the investors in Belgium who request it from
the Belgian branch of Citibank International plc, Department GTS Operations,
4th floor, boulevard Général Jacques 263G, 1050 Brussels. They are also
available on the internet at the following address:
    www.computershare.com/Rio-AlcanFrenchofferdocument





For further information:

For further information: Media Relations, London: Christina Mills,
Office: +44 (0) 20 8080 1306, Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 275 605; Nick Cobban,
Office: +44 (0) 20 8080 1305, Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 041 003; Media Relations,
Australia: Ian Head, Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3620, Mobile: +61 (0) 408 360 101;
Amanda Buckley, Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3627, Mobile: +61 (0) 419 801 349;
Investor Relations, London: Nigel Jones, Office: +44 (0) 20 7753 2401, Mobile:
+44 (0) 7917 227 365; David Ovington, Office: +44 (0) 20 7753 2326, Mobile:
+44 (0) 7920 010 978; Investor Relations, Australia: Dave Skinner, Office: +61
(0) 3 9283 3628, Mobile: +61 (0) 408 335 309, Investor Relations, North
America: Jason Combes, Office: (801) 685-4535, Mobile: (801) 558-2645; Email:
questions@riotinto.com; Website: www.riotinto.com; High resolution photographs
available at: www.newscast.co.uk

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