DANBURY, Conn., October 6, 2005 — Praxair Electronics, a division of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX), announced today that it has submitted an offer to Alcan Inc. (NYSE, TSX: AL) for the purchase of Alcan's high-purity (5N) aluminum refining and casting operation in Mercus, France. High-purity aluminum is used in the production of sputtering targets for the semiconductor and flat-panel display markets.
Following Alcan's information and consultation process with the relevant workers' councils the parties expect to enter into a definitive asset transfer agreement. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2006.
"The addition of high-purity aluminum production to our portfolio will further strengthen Praxair's ability to grow our materials science business in the semiconductor market through improved technology and better supply chain management for our products, said Ray Roberge, president, Praxair Electronics. "Through this transaction, we will also gain a materials supply position in the flat-panel display market which complements our already established gases business in that industry."
Praxair has, in recent years, made a number of acquisitions to broaden the scope and the offerings of its Praxair Electronics division. The acquisition of the 5N activity would be a continuation of that process. It is Praxair's intention to continue to serve existing customers for 5N products and seek opportunities to expand that business.
Michel Jacques, president and chief executive officer, Alcan Engineered Products states, “In June 2005, we announced a restructuring project for the Mercus site. We intended to cease the fabrication of high-purity products (4N) for the capacitor markets, while continuing to look for a buyer for the high-purity (5N) products. We are pleased with the outcome of this process. This agreement is aligned with our strategy to focus on core activities,” he added.
Alcan is a multinational, market-driven company and a global leader in aluminum and packaging. With world-class operations in primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum as well as flexible and specialty packaging, aerospace applications, bauxite mining and alumina processing, today's Alcan is well positioned to meet and exceed its customers' needs for innovative solutions and service. Alcan employs almost 70,000 people and has operating facilities in 55 countries and regions.
About Praxair Electronics
Praxair Electronics provides the global semiconductor industry with process consumables including a full line of gases and materials, sputtering targets, CMP slurries, on-site services, chamber components including electrostatic chucks, and spare-parts logistics services. More information on Praxair Electronics is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com/electronics.
About Praxair, Inc.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2004 sales of $6.6 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.
Susan Szita Gore