Shares of Alumina Ltd on Friday in afternoon trading 6 percent higher at $1.38. The company`s chairman, Peter Wasow, said the new agreement was aimed at strengthening AWAC`s position as an industry leader. At the end of June, L`Alumina filed a counter-action. The counterclaim refuted all the essential elements of Alcoa`s complaint and also sought a stay of Alcoa`s separation by the court, unless it complied with Alumina Ltd`s obligations under the AWAC agreements and required the company to receive offers to acquire AWAC shares in accordance with the first option rights in the agreement. Alcoa has tried in recent months to split into two smaller companies, but asX-listed Alumina Ltd has thwarted this process by claiming that its joint venture agreement with the U.S. company would give it the first rights to Alcoa`s 60 percent stake in a joint venture called AWAC. Alumina proposed amending the AWAC agreements to protect the interests of Alumina shareholders and said the two sides had been in talks since the beginning of this year. Alcoa said its secession plan was similar when Alumina Ltd split from Western Mining Corp more than a decade ago. At the time, Alcoa had no right of first refusal or right to block the split under the AWAC agreements. Copies of the main agreement are available as PDF files.
“We are strengthening our partnership agreement and are more closely targeted at the interests of partners. We are also creating a broader range of value creation options for AWAC by providing its owners with greater strategic flexibility,” said Harvey. The notification describes Alcoa`s interpretation of Alcoa`s rights and responsibilities under the AWAC agreements and the errors it found in Alcoa`s arguments against Alumina Ltd`s claim that the company should play a role in the Alcoa split. “We have renewed the joint venture agreements to reflect the new realities of our industry and the individual situation of Alcoa and Alumina,” said Peter Wasow, Chief Executive Officer of Alumina. “These agreements strengthen the AWAC joint venture for Alcoa and Alumina and give companies more control over their investments and future strategic options. We have been successful with Alcoa for over 50 years, and we look forward to working together in this next phase. “In addition, in the event of a change of control, the restrictions on exclusivity and competition under the current joint enterprise agreements would be finely implemented and replaced by rights to the first extension offer and other development projects that each party can carry out outside the joint venture.” In general, the changes to the joint venture agreements are intended to strengthen the partners` interests vis-à-vis AWAC, while creating greater strategic flexibility and autonomy for both partners.