Alcoa said today it expects its joint shareholding in Rio Tinto to be transferred promptly and smoothly from a custodial account with Lehman Brothers International Europe in London to a custodial account with another nominee unaffiliated with Lehman Brothers. Alcoa said it is working closely with administrators of Lehman Brothers International Europe and with Chinalco, its close and long-term business partner, to achieve the transfer. Alcoa and Chinalco hold the shares jointly through a special purpose vehicle named “Shining Prospect,” which is the custodial account holder.
Shining Prospect holds the Rio Tinto shares in a separate designated custodial account pursuant to a custody agreement with Lehman Brothers International Europe. No one disputes that Chinalco and Alcoa are the owners of the shares. These shares are held in custody – they are not assets of Lehman Brothers International Europe or any other Lehman affiliate – and are therefore not subject to the claims of Lehman’s general creditors.
Alcoa’s strong partnership with Chinalco dates back to 2001. The two companies have worked closely together on growth initiatives in the aluminum industry, environmental and safety best-practice sharing, cultural exchanges in Asia and the U.S. and this recent investment in Rio Tinto plc.
Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa’s businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems. The Company has 97,000 employees in 34 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.