Alcan EP now Constellium, targets cars and China (US)

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Alcan Engineered Products (AEP) a annoncé qu’il s’était donné un nouveau nom, Constellium, tournant ainsi définitivement la page Rio Tinto pour se concentrer à la fois sur les pays émergents et sur le secteur automobile. Constellium vise des ventes mondiales de cinq milliards de dollars (3,4 milliards d’euros) cette année, contre 4,4 milliards en 2010. –  Sur la photo les dirigeants de Rio Tinto et d’Alcan en 2007 (Credit Photo @ Reuters)

PARIS May 3 (Reuters) – Alcan Engineered Products (AEP) renamed itself Constellium on Tuesday, turning the page on its marriage with mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote) and saying it will now focus on emerging markets and cars to boost its earnings. Rio Tinto completed in January the sale of its 61 percent stake in Alcan EP to a French strategic investment fund and U.S. private equity firm Apollo Management, after snatching it from rival Alcoa (AA.N: Quote) in 2007 after a $27 billion bid war. This was just before a precipitous decline in aluminium prices and global demand. But the aluminium market has since made up lost ground. Christel Bories, the chief executive of Constellium, said her group will seek to make the most of renewed interest in aluminium and focus on the auto market in emerging economies, where demand is surging, she said. Constellium targets global sales of $5 billion this year, from the $4.4 billion Alcan EP made in 2010, and said it was aiming to raise its operating margin to 10 percent, although Bories gave no timeframe and no comparative figure.”Emerging markets are today the weak point of Alcan EP,” she told a news conference. “Our strategy is extremely selective,” she added, pointing at carmaker, packaging and aeronautics, despite alumium still being under pressure in the latter.Constellium aims to make three quarters of its sales from these three sectors in the next 4 to 5 years, compared to two thirds at the moment, Bories said.Constellium seeks to develop production sites in China for the car industry, either alone or with partners, and the group is in discussions with possible partners, Bories said.She gave no timeframe for an investment decision. Bories also said that Constellium’s response to issues in the aeronautics industry was to develop a new light allow that will be presented at the Le Bourget Airshow in June. Founded in 1855, AEP’s former parent Pechiney used to be one of France’s biggest industrial groups, and was nationalised in the 1980s before being privatised again in 1995. Pechiney was sold to Canada’s Alcan in 2003 before being swallowed up by Rio Tinto in 2007, when it bought Alcan. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz, Writing by Marie Maitre)

Source : Reuters

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