Rio Tinto Alcan reaches agreement to sell the majority of its European Service Centres business to Amari Metals

    Rio Tinto Alcan, Nov. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan announced today
that it had received an irrevocable offer for a substantial majority of its
European Service Centres distribution business from Amari Metals. Amari Metals
is a private US-based company with a significant metals distribution business
in Europe. Rio Tinto Alcan's aerospace distribution business is being retained
by Rio Tinto Alcan and is not included in the transaction. An operation in
Spain is also excluded.
    "Rio Tinto Alcan is committed to placing its Service Centres business in
the best possible position for continued growth in the future. Amari Metals'
focus on metals distribution makes them an ideal strategic buyer for the
Service Centres," said Christel Bories, President and chief executive officer,
Engineered Products, Rio Tinto Alcan. "The sale process of the Alcan Service
Centres business was initiated by Alcan prior to its acquisition by Rio
Tinto," she added.
    Rio Tinto Alcan Engineered Products is concentrating its resources on
businesses with good potential for growth where it can assume leadership
positions through a differentiated product offering. It was determined that
the Service Centres business no longer fits within this strategy and will have
better growth opportunities within the more focused business structure of
Amari Metals. In April 2005, Alcan also sold its French distributor (Almet) to
Amari Metals.
    Works' Councils and employee representatives will be informed and
consulted in accordance with applicable law. The transaction, which is subject
to competition review, is anticipated to close by the end of first quarter of
    Excluding the aerospace distribution business and Spanish operation, Rio
Tinto Alcan Service Centres employ approximately 800 people in 32 sites and
10 countries across Continental Europe. The business recorded 2006 revenues of
(euro) 340 million.
    Rio Tinto Alcan Service Centres is a leading European distribution
network. It provides a local solution to thousands of customers across Europe.
Through its finishing capabilities, the Service Centres offer
customer-tailored solutions to the industrial, building and façades, road
transport and shipbuilding markets.

    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.

    %B NM %C 1,4,11,15,20 %D European service centers

For further information:

For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, Paris:
Chrystele Ivins, Tel.: +33-1-56-28-24-18,; Rio Tinto
Alcan Media Relations, Montreal: Bryan Tucker, Tel.: +1 514 848 8151,, Email:; Website:; High resolution photographs available at:

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