Aluminium producer Alcoa's acquisition of Cordant Technologies has hit a hitch. The independent directors of Cordant company Howmet International have advised shareholders not to accept Alcoa's offer for the 15% of the casting specialist not already owned by Cordant.

Alcoa has offered $20 a share for the remaining stake in aluminium aerospace components specialist Howmet, but the independent directors are calling for an improved offer of at least $23 a share. Alcoa says it will proceed with the $20 offer, which it says is "fair value".

Cordant made a $17 a share offer for the 15% of Howmet it does not own last November. The company improved its offer to $18.50, but was unable to secure the agreement of Howmet's independent directors before the merger with Alcoa was announced in March.

Advised by Goldman Sachs, the independent directors' committee argues that the Alcoa offer undervalues Howmet, given the $57 a share price agreed for Cordant.

Alcoa's take-over of Cordant, which comprises Howmet, fastener supplier Huck and rocket motor producer Thiokol, is awaiting European Union approval, having passed US anti-trust barriers.

Source: Flight International