The latest potential purchaser being touted for Canada’s top aluminium producer Alcan is Anglo-Australia group Rio Tinto; the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper has reported that its has hired Deutsche Bank to advise it on a possible bid. This comes after Alcan’s board urged shareholders to reject a hostile takeover offer from US competitor Alcoa. There has also been talk of interest in Alcan from BHP Billiton, Brazil’s CVRD, Anglo American, Xstrata, Rusal, Norway’s Norsk Hydro, Chinese groups and private equity firm.
Rio Tinto has been notably absent in the latest round of industry consolidation. Its last major acquisition was seven years ago. Analysts do not believe there is a strong prospect of the major mining companies like Rio Tinto or BHP Billiton going ahead with a bid for Alcan. They point out that a tie-up between Alcoa and Alcan makes most sense in terms of savings from synergies.