Manager Companies Company Announcements Office Australian Stock Exchange Ltd Level 4, Stock Exchange Centre 20 Bridge Street Sydney NSW 2000
ALCAN TO BUY CSR’S GOVE ALUMINA AND BAUXITE INTEREST
CSR Limited wishes to advise that a subsidiary of Alcan Aluminium Limited has todayformally pre-empted the offer by Billiton Aluminium Australia Pty Ltd, topurchase CSR’s interest in the Gove alumina refinery and bauxite mine jointventure in the Northern Territory. Billiton Aluminium Australia, a 100% owned subsidiary of the UK mining andmetals company Billiton PLC, made a US$275 million binding offer on July 3 thisyear for the Gove interest.
CSR’s interest is held through Gove Aluminium Ltd (GAL), of which CSR owns 70% andAMP Life Ltd 30%. GAL in turn has a 30% stake in the Gove joint venture, withthe remaining 70% owned by Swiss Aluminium Australia Ltd, a subsidiary ofAlcan.
Under the joint venture agreement, Alcan had the right to pre-empt the Billitonoffer, at the same purchase price, for a period of up to six months after theoffer.
AMP intends to quit its 30% stake in GAL at the same time as CSR. GAL will buy backAMP’s shareholding at a pro-rata price in line with that to be paid by Alcanfor CSR’s interest. Alcan is purchasing 100% of GAL for a total of US$393 million.
Completion of the sale agreement is expected around end January 2001. The proceeds to CSRwill be used to retire debt.
CSR has had a long and very satisfactory relationship with the Gove joint venturepartners. The company is also appreciative of the excellent work by themanagement and employees of the Gove operating company, Nabalco Pty Ltd, overmany years.
The divestment of the GAL interest is part of CSR’s ongoing strategy of focusing onits expanding international building materials businesses. Around 80% of groupearnings are now coming from building materials, with the major emphasis onaggregates, cement, concrete and concrete pipes and products. Over half oftotal earnings come from CSR America.
The Gove joint venture produces around 1.8 million tonnes p.a. of alumina, of whichGAL’s share is about 540,000 tonnes. As well, the joint venture produces oversix million tonnes of bauxite a year. Around 60% of GAL’s alumina entitlementis sold on a long term basis to Gove Aluminium Finance Ltd (GAF), which holdsCSR’s interest in the Tomago aluminium smelter in the Hunter Valley, New SouthWales. This supply arrangement to GAF will be maintained following the sale ofCSR’s interest in GAL.