Constellium N.V. entered into a binding purchase agreement with UACJ Corporation and its U.S. subsidiary, Tri-Arrows Aluminum Holding Inc., to acquire Tri-Arrows’ 49% stake in Constellium-UACJ ABS, LLC in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for $100 million plus the assumption of 49% of approximately $80 million of third party debt at Constellium-UACJ.
“This investment will give Constellium greater control over its future development of auto body sheet in North America, a growing market, and a strategic focus for our company,” said Jean-Marc Germain, chief executive officer of Constellium. “We are strengthening our position as a global aluminium supplier for our automotive customers and are looking forward to continuing to serve them in the U.S.”
Launched in September 2016, the 225,000 sq ft Bowling Green facility supplies coil and sheet for closures inners, outers, and body-in-white. It houses a state-of-the-art continuous annealing line with pretreatment (CALP) line, which was constructed and commissioned by ANDRITZ Metals. The line is capable of finishing strips in widths ranging from 700-2,200 mm with an accuracy of ±1.5 mm and strip thicknesses ranging from 0.5-3.2 mm. Alloys include cold rolled 5xxx and 6xxx alloys in O and T4 tempers. The facility also includes inspection and packaging equipment and a fully equipped lab for extensive chemical and physical testing. The plant has a capacity of 100,000 tonnes and is expected to reach full production in 2020.
Jean-Marc Germain added: “I want to warmly thank UACJ for partnering with us and for its contribution to the successful ramp-up of the Bowling Green plant. We are looking forward to continuing to work with UACJ to ensure a smooth transition for our customers and employees.”
As part of the purchase agreement, Constellium contracted with Tri-Arrows for the supply of cold-rolled coil from its Logan plant in Kentucky for up to five years. Constellium’s plant in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, will continue to ramp-up its auto body sheet substrate capability to gradually become Bowling Green’s sole supplier of cold coil.
The deal is expected to close by mid-January 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions.