The deal was likely to help Rio diversify beyond its strengths with mining minerals such as iron ore and copper, however, the prospect of taking on the business’s packaging operations is unlikely to be of interest. The deal means that Rio Tinto will make an initial offer to acquire Alcan’s outstanding shares at a cash price.
In 2006, Alcan Packaging registered sales of $6 billion—out of a total of $23.6 billion for Alcan as a whole. Of this figure beauty packaging represented 13% of the division’s revenues. The acquisition leads industry experts to believe that the company’s packaging division will eventually be spun off.