LONDON, United Kingdom — Rio Tinto has signed an agreement to sell its Alcan Packaging Food Americas division to Bemis Company for a total consideration of US$1.2 billion of which US$ 200 million may be in the form of shares in Bemis. Bemis, founded in 1858 and headquartered in Wisconsin, is a global supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive label materials.
"The sale of the Food Americas division is the first significant step in reducing the asset portfolio acquired with Alcan," said Guy Elliott, Rio Tinto CFO. "The transaction represents solid value given the challenging financial environment."
The Food Americas division, which is headquartered in Chicago, has approximately 4,600 employees at 23 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and New Zealand. Alcan Packaging Food Americas generated revenues of US$1.5 billion in 2008, accounting for 23% of Alcan Packaging's total revenues.
Completion of the transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
During 2009, Rio Tinto has announced a total of US$3.7billion of divestments. Those already announced are its interest in the Ningxia aluminum smelter in China for US$125 million, its potash assets and Brazilian iron ore operations for US$1.6 billion and its Jacobs Ranch coal mine in the United States for US$761 million. The divestment program continues for other assets identified for sale, including the remainder of Alcan Packaging and Alcan Engineered Products.
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