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Noranda Obtains Court Approval to Sell Aluminum Smelter to ARG International

Noranda aluminum smelterNoranda Aluminum Holding Corporation obtained U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval for the sale of the its aluminum smelter and facilities in New Madrid, Missouri, to ARG International AG for a purchase price of $13.7 million. The Court approval follows an auction that took place on September 28, 2016. The company expects to close the transaction in October 2016, subject to certain closing conditions.

ARG International AG is a Zug, Switzerland-based metals trading company focused on aluminum and products along the supply chain, including bauxite, alumina, coke and caustic soda.

Noranda’s alumina refinery in Gramercy, Louisiana, and bauxite mining operation in St. Ann, Jamaica, were not included in the auction for the New Madrid smelter and facilities. With respect to its bauxite and alumina operations, Noranda continues to explore strategic alternatives, including discussions with potential acquirers. Agreements, if any, from these discussions would remain subject to auction and court approval.

Noranda filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on February 8, 2016, following an electrical supply circuit failure that forced the smelter to idled production at two of the three potlines. The smelter continued operating the single remaining potline at until March 2016, at which point all remaining operations at New Madrid were curtailed.

In June 2016, Noranda sold Norandal USA, Inc, its downstream aluminum rolling business, to Gränges AB, a supplier of rolled products for brazed aluminum heat exchangers in Sweden as part of a court supervised auction. The final bid valued the business and related assets at US$324.2 million on a cash and debt-free basis. The Norandal aluminum rolling business includes four rolling mills, manufacturing foil and other light gauge aluminum products for stationary and automotive heat exchangers, packaging, and transformers.

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