Norsk Hydro has made a binding offer to acquire Rio Tinto‘s 100% share in Icelandic aluminium plant ISAL, a 53% share in the Aluchemie anode site in the Netherlands, and a 50% stake of Swedish aluminium fluoride facility Alufluor.

Subject to post-closing adjustments, the transaction value is expected to be around $345m.

In accordance with French and Dutch laws, Rio Tinto will launch a consultation process with employees, relevant European works councils, and other stakeholders.

Subject to satisfactory completion of these consultations and certain other conditions, the deal is expected to be complete in the second quarter of this year, making ISAL, Aluchemie and Alufluor part of Hydro’s global operations.

ISAL produces approximately 210,000t of liquid primary aluminium per year and a total of 230,000mt extrusion ingot.

“Having presence across the value chain is essential to create value from this growth and promote sustainable practices in our global operations.”

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said: “The binding offer for the sale of these assets provides further evidence of Rio Tinto’s commitment to strengthen our business and deliver value by streamlining our portfolio.

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“Hydro has a solid track record in the aluminium industry and is a partner to Rio Tinto in other ventures. ISAL, Aluchemie, and Alufluor are a natural fit with Hydro’s portfolio and this transaction should secure the long-term future for the sites and continued economic benefit for the wider communities.”

Aluchemie is focused on producing customer specific, high-quality anodes for the aluminium industry, while Alufluor is a producer of high-purity aluminium fluoride, which is used in the primary aluminium production process.

Hydro president and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzaeg said: “The bid demonstrates our strong belief in aluminium, which is seeing the strongest global demand growth among base metals.

“Having presence across the value chain is essential to create value from this growth and promote sustainable practices in our global operations.”