Industry Overview and Key Investments
While 2023 saw a global recovery in the demand for automobiles and aircraft, the aluminum rolling industry experienced some stagnation due to a slowdown in the Chinese economy and other factors. However, significant investments and mergers and acquisitions (M&As) marked this year.
Apollo Global Management’s Acquisition of Arconic
In a notable development, Apollo Global Management, a prominent U.S. investment company, acquired Arconic, the second-largest U.S. aluminum rolling company, for a total of $5.2 billion in August. Apollo’s continued interest in the aluminum industry includes its holding of the Altemira Group, a key player in Japan’s aluminum rolling and can manufacturing.
Jupiter Aluminum’s Acquisition of Ardium
Preceding Apollo’s acquisition, Jupiter Aluminum, a U.S. aluminum sheet manufacturer, acquired Spain’s Ardium from Atlas Holdings. Ardium, initially part of Alcoa’s European rolling operations, was acquired by Atlas in 2003. Both Arconic and Ardium, formerly part of Alcoa, embarked on new journeys in 2023.
Plant Construction Plans in the U.S.
The U.S. saw ongoing construction plans for Novelis’ new plant in Alabama and Steel Dynamics’ plant in Mississippi. Manna Capital Partners and Ball’s joint rolling business announcement was delayed, but Manna disclosed a joint venture with Metal X to construct a slab plant for aluminum sheet, investing over $200 million with operations starting in the first half of 2014.
U.S. Aluminum Can Market and Investments
The U.S. aluminum can market experienced a demand stagnation due to an imbalance in supply and demand. However, UACJ announced a $150 million investment in Logan Aluminum, co-operated with Novelis, to upgrade its rolling lines, increasing production by approximately 60,000 tons annually.
Lithium-Ion Battery Market Responses
Gränges in Sweden decided to invest 600 million Swedish kroner to expand its Finnspong plant, doubling its LIB cathode foil production capacity. Lotte Aluminum of Korea announced plans for an aluminum foil plant for LIBs in the U.S. and another plant in South Korea. UACJ Foil in Japan is adding an aluminum foil rolling line at its Isesaki plant.
Chinese Investment and European Expansion
Chinese companies announced various investment plans. Notably, Jiangsu Ding Sheng New Energy Materials, China’s leading manufacturer of aluminum foil for LIBs, acquired Italy’s Slim Aluminum for 56.3 million euros. Ding Sheng plans to supply battery foil to CATL’s expanding plants in Germany and Hungary.