China's CITIC buys $467 mn stake in Australia's Alumina
Alumina's shares jumped as much as 17 percent on news of the share sale, spurred by relief that the company has been shored up by a strategic investor, allowing it to pay down debt as the aluminium industry struggles with weak prices.
"This takes all the pressure off them," said Hayden Bairstow, an analyst at CLSA.
Alumina owns 40 percent of Alcoa World Alumina & Chemicals (AWAC), the world's top producer of alumina, in a joint venture with U.S. aluminium giant Alcoa.
CITIC, through its listed arm CITIC Resources Holdings and another subsidiary, will own 13 percent of Alumina following the placement, in a deal that has already won approval from the Australian and Chinese governments.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Chinese firm will be allowed to raise its holding to 15 percent and is capped at that level for two years. Beyond that it will be allowed to raise its stake to just below 20 percent.
Alumina said it would use the funds raised to pay down debt at a time when the aluminium industry has been struggling with rising energy costs and weak prices, largely due to unanticipated growth in aluminium production in China.
"CITIC's investment demonstrates their confidence in the alumina industry and their understanding of Alumina Limited's unique position in the global
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