Alcan Aluminium Limited History

1188 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 3G2

Telephone: (514) 8488000
Fax: (514) 8488115

Incorporated: 1902 as Northern Aluminum Company Limited
Employees: 36,000
Sales: US$7.78 billion (1998)
Stock Exchanges: New York Toronto Montreal Vancouver Chicago Pacific London Paris Brussels Amsterdam Frankfurt Swiss
Ticker Symbol: AL
NAIC: 331314 Secondary Smelting and Alloying of Aluminum; 331315 Aluminum Sheet, Plate, and Foil Manufacturing; 331316 Aluminum Extruded Product Manufacturing; 331319 Other Aluminum Rolling and Drawing; 332431 Metal Can Manufacturing; 322225 Laminated Aluminum Foil Manufacturing for Flexible Packaging Uses

Company Perspectives:

Strength, growth and value are at the core of Alcan's strategic intent. We do more than make and sell aluminum--we build alliances with all our stakeholders. We also take pride in developing and delivering value-added differentiated aluminum products making Alcan the partner of choice. Strength reflects Alcan's strong financial state, its healthy debt-to-equity ratio and improved profitability. It also signifies the quality and dedication of Alcan's employees. Finally, strength together with light weight, thermal and electrical conductivity, barrier qualities, infinite recyclability and many other characteristics make aluminum ... the material of choice. Growth is working with all our stakeholders to develop and deliver value-added, differentiated aluminum products, bringing increased value to our customers. It means continuous improvement in everything we do--earnings, technology, employee development, safety, and environmental stewardship. Growth is about looking to a new future as we enter the new millennium--fully optimizing our existing assets and aggressively pursuing opportunities to grow shareholder value. Value is the reason we're here. It is an ongoing commitment&mdashø our shareholders, to our customers, to and by our employees&mdashø create value in everything we do. It also symbolizes Alcan's values--our ethics, our conduct, our reputation. Key Dates:

Key Dates:

Northern Aluminum Company Limited forms.
Company name changes to Aluminum Company of Canada, Limited.
Aluminum Company of Canada, Limited, becomes the subsidiary of Aluminium Limited, a holding company.
World War II increases demand for aluminum.
A U.S. subsidiary, Alcan Aluminum Corporation, forms.
Aluminium Limited is renamed Alcan Aluminium Limited.
Alcan Aluminium Limited merges with its principal subsidiary, Aluminum Company of Canada, Limited.
Company announces plan to merge with Pechiney S.A. and Alusuisse Lonza Group Ltd. to create the world's largest producer of aluminum.

Company History:

Alcan Aluminium Limited (Alcan) is the second-largest aluminum company in the world. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Alcan has operations in more than 30 countries. Alcan manufactures aluminum, with about 90 percent of revenues resulting from sales of aluminum in ingot and fabricated form. The company is the top producer of flat-rolled aluminum, the majority of which is used to make beverage cans. Alcan is involved in bauxite (aluminum ore) mining, alumina refining, aluminum smelting, and manufacturing. Among the products made by Alcan are cable and wire, automotive parts, and specialty chemicals. Alcan serves customers in an assortment of industries, including transportation, construction, electrical, and packaging. Alcan also generates hydroelectric power and is one of the biggest global recyclers of aluminum.

Advent of Aluminum in the Early 1900s

In 1899 The Pittsburgh Reduction Company later the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) began construction of a power plant and the first Canadian reduction works at Shawinigan Falls, Quebec. Aluminum production began two years later. This first Canadian subsidiary became known in 1902 as Northern Aluminum Company Limited.

Northern Aluminum quickly became an important player in the global aluminum markets. Aluminum was still a new metal. A commercially feasible refinement process had been discovered in 1886, but industrial applications were somewhat slow in developing. Skepticism among manufacturers forced producers toward vertical integration. Pittsburgh Reduction and its Canadian subsidiary were tireless in trying to develop aluminum markets but eventually turned to fabricating products such as cooking pots to promote the metal and broaden sales.

Demand for aluminum grew in the early years of the 20th century. Applications for the metal were found in the electrical and automotive industries. By 1914 80 percent of U.S.-made cars had aluminum crank and gear cases. Aviation, at that time a new industry, called for lightweight metals. Orville and Wilbur Wright had used aluminum in their first plane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Rapid Growth Following World War I

World War I provided new applications for aluminum. Massive quantities of the metal were employed in explosives, ammunition, and machine guns; and the Liberty V12 engine, which powered Allied planes, was one-third aluminum. Military usage absorbed 90 percent of the aluminum produced during the war years. The widespread use during the war translated into widespread acceptance by consumers after the war. Furthermore, the interruption of European aluminum shipments to North America served as a boon to Northern Aluminum after the war. In 1919 Northern alone exported 5,643 tons of Canadian aluminum to the United States compared to 2,360 for all European producers combined.

The 1920s saw fantastic growth for Northern Aluminum. In the early years of the decade, Arthur Vining Davis, head of Alcoa, became interested in two or three hydroelectric plants being proposed by U.S. tobacco magnate James B. Duke on Quebec's Saguenay River because the refinement of aluminum required vast amounts of electricity. Davis called upon A.W. Mellon, renowned financier and major stockholder in Alcoa, to help negotiate a deal with Duke. In 1925 a deal was struck. The aluminum company acquired the hydroelectric site at the so-called Lower Development, as well as water rights to the Upper Development. Duke took $16 million in preferred stock and 15 percent of the common stock of Alcoa. When Duke died three months after the deal was signed, Alcoa was given the opportunity to purchase a controlling interest in the Upper Development. Also in 1925, Northern Aluminum Company changed its name to Aluminum Company of Canada, Limited (Alcan).

These events secured the Saguenay River hydroelectric facilities, which laid the foundation for Alcan operations. Growth on the site was feverish; by 1927 the power plant on the Upper Development supplied a new 27,000 ton smelter, and the refinery neared completion. The company town of Arvida, named after Arthur Vining Davis, sprang up, and the development became the world's largest aluminum production site during World War II.

In June 1928 Alcoa, then the world's undisputed leader in aluminum, divested its foreign operations, forming a Canadian holding company called Aluminium Limited (AL). Shareholders received one share of the new company for every three shares of Alcoa stock. AL was to penetrate foreign markets and participate in international cartels away from the scrutiny of the U.S. Justice Department. Alcoa, meanwhile, would dominate the U.S. market. The Aluminum Company of Canada, Limited, became the chief operating subsidiary of AL. AL also took over all of Alcoa's other non-U.S. holdings, including Norwegian, Italian, French, and Spanish manufacturing and power concerns. Alcoa retained ownership of the power plants on the Saguenay until 1938, when AL purchased them for $35 million. Also at this time, the company moved its headquarters to Montreal from New York.

There were several reasons for the spinoff of AL from Alcoa. Alcoa's Davis felt that Alcoa's sales force neglected overseas markets in favor of the domestic market. He believed a Canadian company, with its own directors and own staff, would be in a better position to exploit international markets throughout the British Empire and elsewhere. Also, Alcoa's domination of the aluminum industry made it a frequent target of U.S. antitrust accusations. By divesting its foreign subsidiaries, Alcoa at least created the impression that it was not excluding competition from abroad. Finally, Davis was nearing retirement, and would soon be faced with choosing a successor. The choice was between his brother Edward K. Davis, and his longtime close friend and colleague, Roy Hunt. Hunt was the son of Alcoa's cofounder, Captain Alfred E. Hunt. Davis solved his problem by sending Edward Davis north to head the new international corporation.

Facing Challenges as a New Entity: 1930s-40s

As AL's first chief, Edward Davis faced some difficult challenges in the company's early years. Although not truly an infant company, AL had to redefine its approach. Formerly, the company had been a part of a vertically integrated whole. Now it was expected to compete worldwide, but it lacked the aluminum-fabrication capability to make finished products that Alcoa and the European producers had.

The Depression struck the company hard, and it was forced to borrow heavily to survive. Technical support and operating agreements with a benevolent Alcoa helped the company stay afloat. For the most part, AL did not compete with Alcoa in the U.S. market, due to a substantial U.S. tariff on imports and to the influence of Alcoa's and AL's common shareholders. As a result, AL pursued instead Asian and European markets.

Realizing it could not survive unless it integrated its operations, AL built fabricating plants in a number of countries worldwide. The growth of the automotive and aviation industries improved the position of AL. By 1937 the company was out of debt and operated profitably. Production capacity at the Arvida plant had doubled and the number of employees worldwide since 1928 had tripled. In 1937 the U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against Alcoa, Aluminium Limited, and 61 related subsidiaries and individuals. The suit called for the breakup of Alcoa and its divorce from AL. The suit alleged Alcoa and its confederates had conspired to restrain imports and to preserve its U.S. monopoly. In 1942 Alcoa and AL were cleared of the charges. The 1942 decision was appealed and was upheld on all counts except one. The appeals court opined that at the time of the original decision, Alcoa monopolized the U.S. ingot market, but that since that time new competition seemed to have evolved. The court therefore delayed further action until an assessment of the postwar industry could be made.

In 1950 the court calculated that the same nine stockholders controlled 44.65 percent of AL's stock and 46.43 percent of Alcoa's stock. While the court said that the relationship between the two companies had been lawful in the past, it ordered the investors to divest the shares of one company or the other. It was the first time in history that U.S. investors had been ordered by their government to give up control of a foreign company. All of the investors except Edward Davis, who sold his Alcoa stock, sold their shares in the Canadian company. The suit remained open until 1957, when a Justice Department request for extended court supervision was denied. In the 20 years this case was open, the aluminum industry had undergone tremendous change, and AL had grown into a giant.

The late 1930s had seen demand for aluminum explode, fueled by war preparations. AL was the largest supplier within the British Empire, and Britain's demand for airplanes and other military hardware was great. During the war, the Canadian company received US$78 million in low-interest loans from the British government to expand its power and reduction facilities. In return, the additional output was earmarked for the British market. The U.S. government also offered assistance to AL; the Defense Plant Corporation, the branch of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation charged with fostering war-industries production, paid US$68 million in advance for 1.3 million pounds of aluminum. AL reportedly used the cash flow to construct another dam on the Saguenay, the Shipsaw Power Plant Number 2. The purchase agreement annoyed U.S. producers, who saw it as a boost to a potential competitor after the war. AL's contribution to the war effort was, however, paramount.

The Aluminium Limited subsidiary Alcan ended the war five times larger than it was in 1937. This expansion posed the threat of idle facilities after the war. The company's researchers worked on expanding aluminum applications in the automotive and rail transport industries.

In 1947, Nathanael V. Davis took over as CEO of AL from his father, Edward Davis. After a brief dip in aluminum consumption right after the war, consumer goods began to use the metal in quantities as never before. By 1950 the Korean War demanded a steady flow of aluminum for the military, and a shortage developed in the United States. U.S. producers increased their output, and several new competitors joined the field.

Strengthening Operations in the 1950s and 1960s

During the 1950s the United States imported 10 to 20 percent of its primary aluminum. Alcan controlled 90 percent of that import business. In 1951 the company began a $350 million expansion program, which included additions to the Quebec plants and a new hydroelectric and reduction site in British Columbia, which began operations in 1954.

In 1950, when the strong ownership ties between Alcoa and Alcan were severed, the Canadian company began to make more aggressive forays into the U.S. market. Occasionally, Alcan broke with tradition and set prices at rates lower than Alcoa; Alcoa's price leadership was followed loyally by other U.S. producers. Alcan focused on aluminum in primary-ingot form, while Alcoa, Reynolds Metal Company, and Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation dove into the semi-fabricated and fabricated products. Alcan's U.S. customers were independent fabricators, as well as Alcoa, Reynolds, and Kaiser themselves. The independents were Alcan's political allies, lobbying for low tariffs on primary aluminum.

While Alcan's exports to the United States grew in the early 1950s, market shares in other areas began to shrink. Norway and France doubled their domestic aluminum capacity, while historic importers like Germany and Japan began to develop their own industries. Although overall output increased, Alcan's percentage of world production declined from 21 percent in 1954 to 19 percent by 1960. By 1969 it had slid to 13 percent.

In 1957 Alcan's first domestic competitor, Canadian British Aluminum (CBA), was started. During the summer of 1957 a strike at Alcan's Arvida plant idled 45 percent of production capacity for four months, resulting in a loss of about 1,000 tons of aluminum production per day. Later in the year, recessionary conditions caused a global oversupply of aluminum, and Aluminium Limited's profits dipped for 1958. Sales of primary aluminum to U.S. and U.K. producers declined.

Alcan decided to bolster its fabrication efforts. In 1958 Alcan expanded fabricating operations in plants in 11 countries. The global oversupply lasted into the early 1960s, however, and as it worsened, U.S. producers slashed prices to near cost to keep plants running. Alcan slowly was being squeezed out of the U.S. market. In response, Alcan decided to build semi-fabricating plants of its own in the United States to establish stable outlets for its ingot.

In 1963 AL acquired a small U.S. metal-powders firm and an aluminum-wire and cable firm. Alcan and three of its biggest U.S. independent customers, Cerro Corporation, Scovill Manufacturing, and National Distillers & Chemical Corporation, began construction of a US$45 million hot mill in Oswego, New York, that would produce coils and aluminum plate. Alcan bought out its partners in 1965 and also acquired other sheet-fabricating plants owned by Cerro and National Distillers. A U.S. subsidiary, Alcan Aluminum Corporation, was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1965 to manage AL's U.S. fabrication concerns. The unit lost US$10.4 million in its first year but persevered. By 1967 Alcan operated 12 plants in 8 U.S. states. In 1966 Aluminium Limited was renamed Alcan Aluminium Limited, and two years later the company reorganized its corporate structure, with management divided into three groups: raw materials, smelting, and fabricating and sales.

In the late 1960s another fundamental shift occurred in Alcan Aluminium's business. Higher transportation and labor costs eroded the advantage of refining aluminum in Canada, as did the availability of cheaper power in the United States. Political developments around the globe made it advantageous for Alcan Aluminium to build primary smelters in Australia, Britain, India, Norway, and Japan. By 1972, Alcan Aluminium's foreign smelting capacity equaled that of its Canadian facilities. Alcan Aluminium had begun to develop integrated units within each country of operations.

Diversification and Continued Growth in the 1970s

Alcan Aluminium's shift toward finished products continued. In 1971 Alcan Aluminium shipped more fabricated and semi-fabricated tonnage than ingot for the first time. In 1972 Paul H. Leman took over as president of Alcan Aluminium Limited. Davis remained CEO and took on the new post of chairman. The French-Canadian Leman was the company's first president outside the Davis family. In 1975 global recession brought on by the oil crisis caused a decline in Alcan Aluminium's aluminum shipments by 16 percent worldwide. Profits took a dive as demand fell in all markets except Latin America. Alcan Aluminium continued to build plants overseas, however, adding an alumina refinery in Ireland and participating in the development of new bauxite mines in Brazil in the mid- to late 1970s.

Labor troubles caused the shutdown of four of the company's five Canadian smelters in 1976. Damage to one plant, caused by molten aluminum hardening in the pot-lines when workers cut the power, cost an estimated US$25 million. Another strike three years later had a similar effect on Alcan Aluminium's production levels. During both of these strikes other producers took advantage of the banner growth years for aluminum.

In the mid-1970s, plans to expand smelting capacity in Canada were mapped out. Uncertainty about the future of energy costs encouraged Alcan Aluminium and its Alcan subsidiary to take advantage of its own Canadian hydroelectric plants. In 1977 David Culver replaced Leman as president. The executive observed that Alcan Aluminium was the only aluminum producer in the world with the ability to expand by 30 percent without increasing its power costs. By 1978 construction on a new primary smelter in Quebec was well under way.

In July 1979 Davis stepped down as Alcan Aluminium's CEO and was replaced by Culver until 1986. Culver had joined Alcan Aluminium in 1949 and had worked his way up the sales side. He set out to bolster Alcan Aluminium's marketing efforts and strengthen the emphasis on fabricated products, eventually limiting ingot sales to 25 percent of the total. Culver initiated a new research and development push in 1980. Alcan Aluminium lagged in high-margin aerospace, automotive, and beverage container markets due to dated technology.

Expansion Amid Difficult Times in the 1980s

In the early 1980s Alcan Aluminium opened new smelters in Australia and Brazil and expanded facilities in West Germany, Britain, and Spain. The company was in a very strong financial position to face the next decade. Annual revenues had doubled since 1975 and earnings had increased eightfold. Debt was low.

Alcan Aluminium's financial strength proved a blessing when the recession of 1980 to 1982 reached the aluminum industry. Demand fell sharply. In 1982 Alcan Aluminium lost US$58 million, its first loss in 50 years. Several long-term factors came to a head in the 1980s. Increased use of scrap resulted in lower aluminum prices and new Third World producers entered the market in force. In 1960, six producers--Alcan Aluminium, Alcoa, Reynolds, Kaiser, France's Pechiney S.A., and Switzerland's Alusuisse--controlled 70 to 80 percent of the free world's aluminum market. By 1981 their share was 40 to 50 percent. More than 80 companies, double the 1960 number, produced aluminum goods worldwide, and about 30 percent of Third World producers were owned at least in part by their governments, whose interest was oriented toward full employment and acquiring hard currency rather than toward maximizing profits or maintaining supply and demand equilibrium. Another factor was increased price volatility after aluminum was listed on the London Metals Exchange in 1978. Private deals between producers and buyers became obsolete, and buyers gained tremendous advantage when the exchange price was publicized daily.

The industry would adjust to these developments but not until the latter half of the 1980s. Meanwhile, Alcan Aluminium overproduced, partly to exploit its hydroelectric power advantage while high oil prices greatly affected other producers, and partly to placate labor. In 1982 the company merged with The British Aluminium Company plc, further expanding its international markets. Profits returned in 1983 and 1984, but in 1985 Alcan Aluminium trimmed 1,100 management jobs, cutting an estimated C$40 million in costs annually. Alcan Aluminium went forward with plans to modernize its plants in Quebec, and when aluminum prices rebounded in 1985, Alcan Aluminium was better prepared to take advantage of it than any of its competitors. The company was also helped by its 1985 acquisition of most of the U.S. aluminum assets of the Atlantic Richfield Company.

In 1986 Alcan Aluminium's top managers devised a new long-term strategy to improve Alcan Aluminium's return on equity. The plan focused on technological applications of aluminum and related metals particularly in aerospace, electronics, and ceramics. Aluminum-lithium alloys were tested in Canadian and British aircraft. Composite aluminum materials also found applications in railcar and automotive assembly. Alcan Aluminium bought a gallium-purification subsidiary of Alusuisse in 1985 and planned to manufacture gallium arsenide semiconducting wafers. The company also reaffirmed its commitment to existing aluminum operations, including ingot production.

In 1987 Alcan Aluminium underwent a reorganization. Alcan Aluminium Limited, the parent company, was merged with its chief operating unit, Aluminum Company of Canada. All of the former parent's subsidiary units worldwide were transferred to the former Canadian operating unit, and the reorganized company took the name Alcan Aluminium Limited. The arrangement shed layers of management. Alcan's leaner structure and clear direction helped the company earn record profits in 1988. Alcan's net of US$931 million was more than any Canadian company had ever earned.

Streamlining Operations and Looking to the Future

With new CEO David Morton on board as Alcan entered the 1990s, the company undertook a new strategic plan as it faced a global recession. Alcan planned to divest its non-core businesses in Argentina, Brazil, and the United Kingdom, and between 1991 and 1994 the company was able to reduce its annual cost base by more than US$600 million. In 1993 a new CEO, Jacques Bougie, was appointed. Bougie already held the titles of president and chief operating officer. Alcan also carried out a year-long study of the global aluminum market and its prospects. As a result of the study, completed in mid-1993, Alcan was able to evaluate its position in the aluminum industry and establish priorities for the decade. The company made plans to focus on strategic downstream operations, expand its rolled product division internationally, reduce smelter costs as well as raw material costs, gear research and development efforts on core products and operations, and lessen overhead costs.

During the latter half of the decade Alcan continued its international expansion and focused on developing its large-scale fabricating operations. Alcan restructured its Asian holdings to strengthen its operations in Southeast Asia and China and continued to sell non-core operations, including 12 businesses in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1996, fabricating assets in Brazil and Uruguay in 1997, aluminum refining operations in Ireland and Guinea in 1998, and a chemicals operation in Canada in 1998. Alcan also reduced its holdings in recession-wracked Japan, decreasing its interest in Nippon Light Metal Company, Ltd., from 45.6 percent to 11.2 percent.

While Alcan unloaded several non-strategic businesses, the company was equally busy acquiring businesses to strengthen its core operations. In 1998 Alcan acquired a majority stake in the bauxite operations of Ghana Bauxite Company Limited and secured a majority interest (54.6 percent) in Indian Aluminium Company, Limited. Alcan also acquired a 20 percent interest in the Utkal aluminum oxide project in India. The company upped its interest in the project to 35 percent in early 1999.

Though Alcan worked tirelessly to realize its goal of being the top global producer of low-cost aluminum, poor market conditions in the late 1990s made the task all the more difficult. During 1998 aluminum prices dropped by 20 percent, forcing Alcan to curb its production of aluminum, a strategy the company first began employing in 1994 due to an industry oversupply of aluminum. Alcan also moved up its plans to close the Isle-Maligne smelter in Quebec, intending to close it by the end of 1999. Still, Alcan moved forward, anticipating future demand; construction commenced on a new US$1.6 billion smelter in Alma, Quebec, to be fully operational by the end of 2001.

Alcan's fabricated product division contributed more than 76 percent of total 1998 sales and continued to grow. Through the entire decade Alcan had invested in fabricated product operations, upgrading facilities and acquiring new businesses. In 1998 the company began expanding its rolling facilities in Brazil to meet the increasing demand of the South American can sheet market. Also that year Alcan sold a German piston business as it did not fit with Alcan's focus on rolled products fabrication. The Alcan Global Automotive Products Group continued to make inroads into the promising automotive sector, securing a ten-year supply agreement with General Motors Company. To further penetrate the automotive and distribution markets, Alcan announced plans to spend US$46 million to improve aluminum rolled sheet production facilities at the Kingston, Ontario, plant. The expansion, designed to increase production by 40 percent, was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2000.

Recycling operations grew steadily in the late 1990s, with Alcan's U.S. recycling facilities processing 31 percent of all used beverage cans recycled by Americans in 1998. The company operated 26 recycling facilities in the United Kingdom, and a plant designed to recycle used beverage cans was put into operation in Brazil in 1998.

In May 1999 Alcan further expanded its fabricated products division when it announced it would form a new aluminum rolled products company in Korea with South Korea's Taihan Electric Wire Co., Ltd. The new company would serve to meet increasing demand for can sheet products in the Asia/Pacific region, which accounted for about a third of Western World aluminum consumption in 1999. Brazil, Europe, and Asia were the fastest-growing markets for Alcan's aluminum can sheet and foil products in the late 1990s, with increased interest in aluminum in food packaging and beverage container businesses.

Alcan faced additional changes as it neared the new millennium. In spring 1999 the company restructured its operations into two primary business groups--Alcan Primary Metal Group and Alcan Global Fabrication Group. The first division was concerned with bauxite mining, alumina refining, power generation, and primary aluminum activities, while the fabrication group handled all fabrication activities, including sheet, foil, and flexible packaging, cable and extrusions, secondary metal production, and recycling operations. Though net income for the first half of 1999 was nearly $100 million lower than net income from the same period a year earlier, Alcan's fabricated products volumes reached a record high.

Alcan's biggest announcement of the decade was made in the summer of 1999 when the company revealed a proposed merger with France's Pechiney S.A. and Switzerland's Alusuisse Lonza Group Ltd. (algroup). The three companies had combined 1998 sales and operating revenues of $21.6 billion. The merger would create the largest aluminum company in the world, as well as a worldwide leader in flexible and specialty packaging. The new company, temporarily named Alcan-Pechiney-algroup (A.P.A.), would function as a Canadian company and have headquarters in Montreal, about 91,000 employees, and operations in 59 countries. It was determined that Jacques Bougie would act as CEO, and Alcan would hold a 44 percent interest, Pechiney 29 percent, and algroup 27 percent.

Principal Subsidiaries: Alcan Primary Metal Group; Alcan Global Fabrication Group; Alcan International Limited; Alcan Aluminum Corporation (U.S.); Alcan (Bermuda) Limited; Alcan Nikkei Asia Holdings Ltd.(Bermuda; 60%); Alcan Jamaica Company (West Indies); Alcan Aluminio do Brasil Ltda.(Brazil); Alcan Aluminio Pocos de Caldas S.A. (Brazil); Consorcio de Aluminio do Maranhao-Alumar (Brazil; 10%); Mineracao Rio do Norte S.A. (Brazil; 12.5%); Petrocoque S.A.-Industria e Comercio (Brazil; 25%); Ghana Bauxite Company Limited (Ghana; 80%); Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (Guinea; 16.8%); Alcan Deutschland GmbH (Germany); Aluminium Norf GmbH (Germany; 50%); Alcan Alluminio S.p.A. (Italy); Vigeland Metal Refinery A/S (Norway; 50%); Alcan Iberica, S.A. (Spain); Alcan Aluminium AG (Switzerland); Alcan Rorschach AG (Switzerland); Alcan Europe Limited (U.K.); British Alcan Aluminium plc (U.K.); Alcan Aluminium UK Limited (U.K.); Alcan South Pacific Pty Ltd. (Australia); Queensland Alumina Limited (Australia; 21.4%); Alcan Asia Limited (China); Alcan Asia Pacific Limited (China); Alcan Nikkei China Limited (China, 49%); Alcan Nikkei Korea Limited (China; 49%); Nonfemet International (China-Canada-Japan) Aluminium Company Limited (China; 27%); Indian Aluminium Company, Limited (India; 54.6%); Alcan Nikkei Asia Company Ltd. (Malaysia; 60%); Aluminium Company of Malaysia Berhad (Malaysia; 35.5%); Alcom Nikkei Specialty Coatings Sdn Bhd (Malaysia; 47.7%); Alcan Nikkei Thai Limited (Thailand, 46.6%); Alcan Nikkei Siam Limited (Thailand; 42%).

Principal Competitors: Alcoa Inc.

Further Reading:

  • "Alcan's Latest Cliff Hanger" Forbes, November 1, 1977.
  • Epstein, Gene, "Can Alcan? Will cost cuts, better performance pull aluminum giant out of its slump?", Barron's, May 31, 1999, p. 17.
  • Farin, Philip, and Gary G. Reibsamen, Aluminium: Profile of an Industry, New York: Metals Week, 1969.
    From Monopoly to Competition; The Transformation of Alcoa, 1888-1986, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  • Hight, Jack, "Kingdom of the Saguenay: Canada's Sprawling Aluminium Giant," Iron Age, April 5, 1945.
  • Levy, Yvonne, Aluminium: Past and Future, San Francisco: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 1971.
  • Litvak, Isaiah A., and Christopher J. Maule, Alcan Aluminium Limited: A Case Study, Toronto: Royal Commission on Corporate Concentration, 1977, 229 p.
  • Peltz, James F., "Wave of Consolidation Hits Aluminum Industry," Los Angeles Times, August 12, 1999, p. C1.
  • Roberts, J.P., and D. McLean, The Cape York Aluminium Companies and the Native Peoples, Fitzroy, Victoria: International Development Action, 1976, 103 p.
  • Ross, Alexander, "The Alcan Succession," Canadian Business, June 1989.
  • Smith, George David, and Duncan C. Campbell, Global Mission: The Story of Alcan, 3 Vols., Montreal: Alcan Aluminium Limited, 1985-1990.
  • "Why Alcan Spends So Much," Business Week, July 10, 1971.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 31. St. James Press, 2000.