Novelis to step in to clear the air over Aleris deal: Satish Pai, MD, Hindalco

MUMBAI: Hindalco’s wholly-owned US subsidiary Novelis has offered remedial measures to allay concerns of the European Union’s antitrust watchdogs over its $2.6 billion acquisition of Aleris, another US-based aluminium products major that it acquired last year, Satish Pai, managing director at Hindalco said.

Pai’s statement comes a day after news agency Reuters reported that Novelis has agreed to sell Aleris’ plant in Duffel, Belgium and that this move may help it secure the EU’s approval for closing the sale that has already been delayed beyond the guided timeline.

Answering a shareholder’s query that referred to the same report, Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, however, said that it has received no official communication regarding the clearance.

“We’ll get clearance from the European Union hopefully in the near future and then the terms of the clearance and what we have offered (remedial measures) will become clear,” Pai told reporters on the sidelines of Hindalco’s AGM on Friday.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch has a deadline up till October 7 to decide on its investigation into the deal. Pai also said that owing to volatility in global aluminium prices benchmarked by the London Metal Exchange that took a major hit, falling by as much as 21% in the first quarter of the current fiscal, Hindalco has cut back its capex from Rs 2,600 crore guided earlier to Rs 2,000 crore.


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