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Jamalco sale could be on the cards for Noble – reports

Jamaica Gleaner / Financial news and media company, Bloomberg is reporting that the sale of Jamaican alumina plant, Jamalco, could be among plans presented by Noble Group Limited when it sits down with bondholders this week for crisis talks to restructure about $3.5 billion in debt.

Noble Group purchased 55 per cent of Jamalco from Alcoa in 2014 for a reported US$140 million.

The other 45 per cent of Jamalco is retained by the Jamaican Government through Clarendon Alumina Partners (CAP).

Bloomberg.com notes that Jamalco, is likely to be Noble’s most valuable remaining physical assets following the sale of its global oil and gas trading businesses.

This is because of a 50 per cent surge in the price of alumina, which has allowed Noble to generate cash that is helping to keep the company afloat.

The company hasn’t said exactly which of its assets will be sold to raise up to US$1 billion over the next two years.

However, Noble Chairman Paul Brough last week reportedly dropped a heavy hint that it would include Jamalco, referring to fairly chunky assets in the aluminium sector.

But Bloomberg.com notes that Jamalco could also be used as part of guarantees to convince creditors to swap some of their bonds for a mandatory convertible bond paying later.

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