Home Economy Court strips RUSAL of aluminium firm ALSCON

Court strips RUSAL of aluminium firm ALSCON

by Business News Report

Nigeria’s supreme court has ordered that Russia’s RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminium producer, be stripped of ownership of former state-owned Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) because the assets should have gone to another bidder. RUSAL acquired a 75 per cent stake in ALSCON in 2007 for around $205 million and now owns 85 per cent of its assets with the remaining stake belonging to the Nigerian government. The Russian firm said the judgment would not affect its ownership of ALSCON and that operations continued as normal.
U.S. based private firm BFI Group was the preferred bidder for ALSCON in 2004 after offering $410 million, but was later disqualified by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the Nigerian government agency that handled the privatisation of state enterprises. BFI, headed by American-Nigerian Reuben Jaja, took BPE to court, saying the agency breached its contract. The Supreme Court ruling last week ordered that BPE revert to the original preferred bidder and BFI Group pay the agreed price of $410 million.
“There is no evidence on record that RUSAL has taken possession of ALSCON,” Justice John Fabiyi said in the lead judgment, seen by Reuters on Monday. The appellant’s (BFI Group) bid in the sum of $410 million was preferred by the respondent. The appellant was declared winner at the auction sale conducted on 14th June 2004.”

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