Hydro bids to acquire Icelandic aluminium plant ISAL

Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro ASA has made a binding offer to acquire Rio Tinto’s 100% share of Icelandic aluminium plant ISAL. The offer also includes the Dutch anode facility Aluchemie and Swedish aluminium fluoride plant Alufluor.

February 26, 2018
Hydro bids to acquire Icelandic aluminium plant ISAL
Rio Tinto Iceland Ltd (“ISAL”). Photo: ISAL/Einar Aron Einarsson

Transactional highlights

  • Binding offer to acquire Rio Tinto’s Icelandic aluminium plant Rio Tinto Iceland Ltd (“ISAL”), its 53% share in Dutch anode facility Aluminium & Chemie Rotterdam B.V. (“Aluchemie”), and 50% of the shares in Swedish aluminium fluoride plant Alufluor AB (“Alufluor”) for USD 345 million, subject to post-closing adjustments.
  • In accordance with French and Dutch law, Hydro’s offer triggers a statutory consultation with Rio Tinto employees and other stakeholders. Given successful consultations, and approval from the EU competition authorities, the transaction is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2018, making ISAL, Aluchemie and Alufluor part of Hydro’s global operations.


Strategic rationale

  • Reinforces leading European position: ISAL produces 210,000 mt liquid metal and a total of 230,000 mt extrusion ingot for the European building, construction and transportation segments from its newly built casthouse with full ultrasonic testing capabilities. This will further strengthen Hydro’s position as the preferred and leading extrusion ingot supplier in Europe.            
  • Renewable Energy: Hydro is one of the world’s leading aluminium producer based on renewable energy. With ISAL’s 210,000 mt of aluminium based on renewable power, Hydro increases its total capacity in primary aluminium production to 2.4 million mt in 2018 and its share of production that is based on renewable energy to over 70 percent.
  • Integrated value chain: The transaction reinforces Hydro’s strategic direction of being a fully integrated aluminium company, with a solid asset base, portfolio flexibility and sustainable global operations.


“The offer demonstrates our strong belief in aluminium, which is seeing the strongest global demand growth among base metals. Having presence across the value chain is essential to create value from this growth and promote sustainable practices in our global operations,” says Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

Hydro sees synergies with respect to technology creep, optimization of anode portfolio and freight and handling. The Icelandic plant runs on the same technology platform as Hydro’s Husnes plant in Norway, where Hydro recently announced a re-opening and technological upgrade of the plants’ second electrolysis line.

“We see great potential in exchanging competence and technology elements between our aluminium plants. We are now running a technology pilot in Norway which aims to be the world’s most energy-efficient and climate friendly aluminium production facility. These innovations will be expanded to other Hydro facilities, and as part of Hydro, ISAL will benefit from such technological spin-offs and competence,” says Hilde Merete Aasheim, Head of Hydro’s Primary Metal business area.  

Updated: February 26, 2018