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Alcan Grows Composite Products Business Through Acquisition of Baltek

11 March 2003

Alcan has entered into agreements to acquire Baltek Corporation, the supplier of balsa-based structural core materials, for approximately US$35 million.

The transaction, which is subject to approval by Baltek's shareholders, has received the approval of Baltek's board of directors and the support of its major shareholders. The combination of Alcan Composites' product range with the high performance materials from Baltek is hoped to significantly enhance Alcan Composites' offering to the rapidly growing composite material market.

""This acquisition will grow one of the profitable segments of our engineered products business, the composites business unit,"" said Travis Engen, President & CEO of Alcan Inc. ""Baltek is the world leader in balsa- based composite materials, which complements our existing structural foam product range. Furthermore, Baltek has also been Alcan Composites' North American distributor of structural foam for eight years.""

Structural core materials are used in composite sandwich construction, a proven engineering concept that offers unique high performance and lightweight design properties. Composite sandwich construction is widely used in the growing marine, mass transportation, wind-power generation and aerospace markets. Alcan Composites' structural foam and Baltek's balsa are complementary products that go to market through the same distribution channels. In addition, both Alcan Composites and Baltek enjoy long-standing reputations for excellence in quality and customer service.

Under the agreements, Alcan will acquire Baltek on the basis of US$15.17 per share. This reflects a premium of approximately 77% based on the 20-day average trading price to March 5, 2003. Completion is subject to other usual conditions for a transaction of this nature, although no clearances from anti-trust or competition authorities are required. Alcan expects the transaction to be completed in the second quarter of 2003.

With corporate head offices in New Jersey, the Baltek Corporation has production and sales facilities around the world, including a 60-year history in Ecuador, one of the world's largest sources of balsa wood. Baltek has operated balsa plantations in this country for nearly 30 years.






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