Aleris is a relatively young company, formed at the end of 2004 through the merger of Commonwealth Industries, Inc. and IMCO Recycling, Inc. The merger created a vertically integrated aluminum company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, we have strengthened the business through organic growth and operational improvements, as well as strategic acquisitions. In 2014, we also made the strategic decision to exit the recycling and extrusions business to strengthen our focus on our rolled products business.
In 2006, we acquired Corus Group for $900 million, which doubled our size and significantly expanded our presence in Europe and China. Between 2005 and 2008, $560 million of additional acquisitions were made. In 2007, we sold a zinc business in order to focus on our core aluminum business.
Aleris was acquired by Texas Pacific Group (TPG) in 2006. In 2008 – 2009 the global economic crisis hit, our volumes declined nearly 40 percent year-over-year. On top of that – Aleris faced heavy debt service from our private equity owner TPG. As a result, the company filed for Chapter 11 and emerged from that process 15 months later, with significant support from our new equity investors, led by majority-owner Oaktree. Aleris emerged a stronger company, with a strong balance sheet and little debt – well-positioned for growth in the industry.
In 2013 the company strengthened its commitment to serve the rapidly expanding automotive industry with the unveiling of its new automotive facility in Duffel, Belgium and expanded its global footprint with the opening of its new state-of-the-art aerospace plate mill in Zhenjiang, China.
In 2014, Aleris acquired Nichols Aluminum. The addition of these assets provided Aleris with greater efficiency and flexibility to serve customers in North America. The company also announced plans to invest $350 million to expand its Lewisport, Kentucky, facility to build on its expertise in Duffel to serve the North American automotive industry.
Following a strategic review process, the company also announced the divestiture of its North American and European Recycling and Specification Alloys and Extrusions business in 2014 to form a stronger, more focused Aleris that will have greater flexibility to concentrate resources in the areas with the highest growth potential.
Aleris is well-positioned to benefit from long-term growth in the world’s aluminum consumption.