RUSAL's Bid to Buy a 20% Stake in World's Largest Alumina Refinery Approved

RUSAL, one of the world’s leading aluminium producers, today welcomed final approval by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board of the company's bid to buy a 20% stake in Australia's Queensland Alumina, Limited (QAL), the world's largest alumina refinery, from Kaiser Aluminum. RUSAL became the winning bidder of the auction for the QAL stake in October last year.

The value of the deal amounted to $401 million in cash subject to certain working capital adjustments. RUSAL will also purchase Kaiser’s alumina and bauxite inventories and assume Kaiser’s obligations in respect of approximately US$60 million of QAL debt. Kaiser also will transfer its existing alumina sales contracts and other agreements relating to QAL to RUSAL.

The QAL transaction represents the first major investment by a Russian company in Australia.

The transaction previously received the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The deal, which is subject to the approval of QAL's two existing shareholders and QAL’s lenders, is intended to be completed by mid April, 2005. The existing shareholders are Alcan Inc (which holds a 41.6 per cent stake) and Comalco (which holds the remaining 38.6 per cent).

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