Aluminium giant Alcoa has succeeded in its bid for control of aircraft castings specialist Howmet International. The all-US deal brings together the world's largest aluminium producer and the largest manufacturer of precision castings.

Independent directors controlling 15% of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Howmet, a major supplier to Airbus and Boeing aircraft, agreed to sell their stock to Alcoa, based in Pittsburgh, for $23 a share, or $23.1 million.


Alcoa announced the $2.9 billion purchase of Howmet's parent, Cordant Technologies, in March, but said the castings specialist was its real target, and that it would buy the 15% of its stock not controlled by Cordant.

An initial $20 per share offer was rejected before a definitive agreement, signed on 2 June, settled on the $23 per share price, uniting businesses which Alcoa says have "obvious complementary activities". Howmet, with 29 production sites in the USA, Canada, France, the UK and Japan, is the number one supplier of investment-cast superalloy and titanium used in jet aircraft and aero-engines. It says its products "are part of every aircraft turbine engine flying in the Western world".

Through its Cordant purchase, Alcoa owns solid rocket propulsion systems specialist Thiokol Propulsion and Huck International, which makes fasteners for commercial and military aircraft.

The Howmet takeover is the latest in a series of major transactions in the rapidly consolidating aluminium sector. Last month Alcoa completed the $4.4 billion acquisition of Reynolds Metals of the USA, the world's number three aluminium producer, while number two, Alcan of Canada, bought Algroup of Switzerland for $5.7 billion two weeks ago. Alcan's linked move for France's Pechiney has been blocked by regulators.

Source: Flight International