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Foundry Daily News

24. May 2007

Alcan Rejected Marriage Proposal; Now Alcoa Has Something to Prove

Alcan Inc. has rejected Alcoa Inc.'s marriage proposal. There are claims that on the advice of high powered advisers, the dowry is insufficient.

In this instance, the Alcan board members made the correct move and wants to up the ante. In rejecting Alcoa's offer, they included a rationale such as Alcoa having a fundamentally different approach to creating shareholder value. This is more of a corporate culture issue and should not be a significant factor in this deliberation.

The offer was bizarre in that Alcoa apparently had been having discussions that were sort of real, but not official enough to be considered a take-over. Sounds more like a corporate version of pestering. Closer to a awkward high school boy who cannot figure out how to ask a girl out for a date.

Alcoa's shareholders should be disturbed that their management group could not step up to the bat properly. Alcan's board even commented on the manner of Alcoa's behavior. This may trigger some legal action as egos and reputations are bruised.

In any event, Alcoa's executives now have something to prove. They could not snare Alcan. What can they do? The industry grows and consolidates. Does Alcoa have a good seat for the future?

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