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New Reynolds Bidder Emerges

August 13, 1999

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Days after aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. made an unsolicited offer for Reynolds Metals Co., a Chicago investment firm has made its own surprise bid.

On Wednesday, Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum company, offered $65 a share in cash and stock for the nation’s third-largest aluminum maker.

Alcoa valued the deal at $5.6 billion, though it did not provide additional details. At $65 a share, the deal would be worth only $4.2 billion based on the number of Reynolds shares outstanding.

Michigan Avenue Partners, a privately held investment firm, said in a statement Friday it has made an all-cash offer for Reynolds that surpasses Alcoa’s bid.

The company said its purchase of of Reynolds would not raise the same antitrust issues that would occur if Alcoa acquired Reynolds.

Other details, including the offering price, were not disclosed. A Michigan Avenue spokesman declined comment.

An Alcoa spokeswoman dismissed the bid. ``We are the only ones who have a bonafide offer on the table for Reynolds to consider,″ Joyce Saltzman said.

Lou Anne Nabhan, a spokeswoman for Richmond-based Reynolds, declined to comment on the offer.

Michigan Avenue and Reynolds have had some dealings in the past. Last year, Michigan Avenue purchased McCook Aluminum Sheet & Plate Plant from Reynolds for an undisclosed amount.

The news Friday was the latest in a tumultuous week of events that threatens to reshape the aluminum industry.

On Wednesday, Canadian aluminum giant Alcan Aluminium announced plans to combine with French company Pechiney and Alusuisse-Lonza (Algroup) of Switzerland to form a new company provisionally called Alcan-Pechiney-Algroup. It would be the world’s largest aluminum company with $21.6 billion.

An Alcoa-Reynolds combination would have revenue of about $21 billion.

Reynolds officials have refused to comment on the Alcoa offer, other than to say the company’s board will meet Sunday to discuss the bid and will issue a statement after the close of business Monday.

Many analysts said Alcoa’s offer was too low and predicted a bidding war. The president of the Montreal-based Alcan said Thursday the company has not ruled out the possibility of making a bid.

Shares of Reynolds closed Friday at 69.37 1/2, up $3 or 4.5 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange. Alcoa closed at $66.50, down $1.25 or about 1.8 percent, also on the Big Board.

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