Mumbai: Tata Steel has said that it has sold two aluminium smelters to Briand Investments, an affiliate of London-based investment group Klesch & Co, choosing to focus on its core steel business.
In August, Tata’s European unit Corus said that it was in talks with Klesch to sell its smelters in the Netherlands and Germany.
Gary Klesch, chairman of Klesch & Co, said that he was bearish on aluminium for now but bullish in the long run.
“I am taking a 5-10 year view. I do think over the next 5-10 years we will see a rebound in prices,” Klesch said.
He said that he was seeking more smelters to add to the firm’s aluminium capacity, which will stand at 1.2 million tonnes with the latest purchases and a smelter being built.
“Corus’s two smelters have a combined capacity of 200,000 tonnes a year and are currently operating at near full capacity,” Klesch said.
An official at Tata Steel, who did not want to be identified, said that the smelters were ‘non-core’ and that the firm’s efforts to find a buyer predates the economic crisis.
In 2006, Corus sold off its aluminium rolled products and extrusions business for £826 million, according to the company’s website.