Novelis to acquire downstream aluminum producer Aleris for ~$2.6B; meeting automotive demand, expanding into aerospace
Novelis Inc., the leading producer of flat-rolled aluminum products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Aleris Corporation, a global supplier of aerospace and automotive rolled aluminum products, for approximately $2.6 billion including the assumption of debt.
Aleris has been an important supplier of aluminum to premium car manufacturers in Europe as they have embraced greater aluminum use as a means to lightweight vehicles and meet increasingly stringent fuel-efficiency standards. In 2002, the Aleris facility in Duffel, Belgium opened its first continuous annealing line to provide automotive body sheet to the automotive industry. In 2013, the company strengthened its position with the opening of a fully dedicated automotive facility at Duffel.
With a new wide cold mill and a continuous annealing line, Aleris is equipped to produce the widest aluminum sheet available in the industry. The wider material provides automotive manufacturers with greater efficiency and flexibility as they expand aluminum applications to include hoods, roofs, door panels, side panels and trunks.
In 2017, Aleris opened a new state-of-the-art auto body sheet production capacity at its Lewisport, Kentucky facility. The $400-million facility equipped the site with the additional heat treatment and finishing capabilities required for the production of wide aluminum auto body sheet.
As part of the acquisition, Novelis will acquire Aleris’ 13 manufacturing facilities across North America, Asia and Europe. Aleris’ new automotive finishing lines in Lewisport, Kentucky, of which a significant amount of its 200kt capacity is already under contract, along with 100kt of auto capacity in Duffel, Belgium, will allow Novelis to further diversify its global footprint and customer base.
In addition, Aleris’ Zhenjiang facility is strategically located near Novelis’ existing Changzhou plant, adding value through logistical efficiencies, closed-loop recycling, and providing greater opportunity for customer collaboration.
Novelis says that the proposed acquisition will allow it to establish a more diverse product portfolio, including aerospace, beverage can, automotive, building and construction, commercial transportation and specialty products.
Integrating complementary assets in Asia to include recycling, casting, rolling and finishing capabilities will allow Novelis to serve the growing Asia market more efficiently.
The acquisition will also broaden Novelis’ automotive business to meet growing demand and diversifying its global footprint and customer base.
Over the past several years, Novelis has successfully brought online $2 billion in production assets by utilizing its manufacturing expertise in rolling and finishing. This proven track record of safely and efficiently ramping up assets along with the company’s collective expertise will enable Novelis to enhance Aleris’ operations, while continuing to deliver innovative solutions that meet customers’ needs and drive shareholder value.
The combined company will have pro forma revenues of approximately $15 billion and will operate 37 facilities, across 11 countries, with an employee base of approximately 16,500.