Rio Tinto sells aluminum business for $185 million

In what it seems a move towards exiting the aluminum wire business, diversified miner Rio Tinto (LON & NYSE:RIO) announced it is selling its U.S.-based wire and cable business Alcan Cable to American company General Cable  (NYSE: BGC) for $185 million.

The world number three miner sold off noncore operations from the aluminum business it bought in 2007 for about $44 billion, since it announced in October it was selling 13 assets.

In March this year, the company also announced it was closing its Lynemouth aluminum smelter in Northumberland, England as part of its aluminum restructure plan.

The Rio Tinto unit had low, single-digit operating margins last year, General Cable said in a release, adding that the business would contribute between $650 and $700 million in annual sales, based on current metal prices.

Alcan Cable currently employs 1,000 people with factories and distribution facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and China.

The transaction is expected to close later this year after the sale obtains the necessary regulatory clearances.

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