Alcoa desperate for cash

The Sydney Morning Herald
March 11, 2009
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : FINANCE

U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa [Pittsburgh, parent company of Kawneer NA, Norcross, Ga.] is so desperate to conserve cash amid a metal price slump that it is willing to consider selling a strategic stake to a company such as Chinalco.

Alcoa, which in 2001 had a larger market value than BHP Billiton, is now worth just $4.9 billion amid a dramatic slump in aluminium prices. That compares to the $38.7 billion Rio Tinto paid for Alcan in 2007, which before the takeover had a roughly similar market value to Alcoa.

Alcoa's chief executive, Klaus Kleinfeld, told The Wall Street Journal his company was looking at "all cash-generating opportunities," including the sale of a strategic stake.

The aluminum producer has already slashed its dividend but has been so far unwilling to scrap it altogether since that would break with 60 years of tradition, according to a March 11 report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

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