Since 2010, Aleris has been owned and controlled by a group led by investment funds of Oaktree Capital Management (NYSE:OAK).
Aleris is in the midst of a $350M expansion of its Lewisport, Ky., rolling mill to produce automotive body sheet for U.S. auto manufacturers, and hopes to produce 200K metric tons/year and begin shipping in 2017.
Shares of other publicly traded aluminum companies are up, including Alcoa (AA +2.4%), Century Aluminum (CENX +2.7%), Kaiser Aluminum (KALU +1%) and Constellium (CSTM +12.9%).
Paris-based Constellium (NYSE:CSTM) said yesterday it would buy privately-held Wise Metals, located in Alabama, in a deal valued at $1.4B - $455M in cash and the assumption of $945M in debt - as it aims to capture more of the growing U.S. market for automotive aluminum sheet.
CSTM is looking to compete in the U.S. with Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and India's Hindalco Industries (OTC:HNDNF), which have recently expanded auto sheet production.
Automakers' use of aluminum is growing as they try to meet new government fuel efficiency standards by making cars lighter; CSTM believes the North American market for aluminum used for car bodies could grow to ~2M tons by 2025 from less than 100K tons in 2012.