SYDNEY (Reuters) – Rio Tinto is attracting renewed interest in selling its Pacific Aluminium smelting unit by adding two alumina refineries in Australia to the portfolio, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
Rio Tinto had tried to sell the division minus the refineries in 2011 and again in 2015 without success. Switzerland-headquartered Glencore, Liberty House of Britain, and Russia’s Rusal have all expressed interest, according to the sources, who declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak to media.
By including the refineries, Rio could potentially double the original $1 billion price tag for Pacific Aluminium, the sources said.
Pacific Aluminium originally included Rio Tinto’s Bell Bay, Boyne Island and Tomago smelters in Australia, and the Tiwai Point smelter in New Zealand.
Glencore, Liberty House and Rio Tinto declined to comment on a potential sale or any discussions on the matter. Rusal could not be reached.