Arconic to split into two after rebuffing Apollo offer

(Reuters) - Arconic said on Friday it would split into two companies and slashed its quarterly dividend by two-thirds, just weeks after the U.S. aluminum products maker spurned a buyout offer from Apollo Global Management.

The company, formed following a split of Aloca Corp in 2016, plans to spin off one of its core divisions later.

Arconic has been under pressure from its biggest shareholder Elliott Management Corp to sell itself and Apollo’s offer last month could have valued the company at about $17 billion.

However, potential legal liabilities from its smaller building and construction systems unit likely put a question mark on the valuation.

The unit had supplied the Reynobond PE panels used in the cladding of the Grenfell Tower apartment complex in London, England, where more than 70 people were killed in a 2017 blaze.

“After a rigorous and comprehensive process...the board sees more shareholder value creation through a restructuring of the company,” Chairman John Plant said in a statement, after Arconic’s fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

Plant on Wednesday assumed the role of chief executive officer in a surprise move, replacing General Electric Co veteran Chip Blankenship who was at the helm for just over a year.

Arconic said the unit, which makes parts for aircraft and power generation equipment, will now be called engineered products and forgings. The business, currently its biggest, clocked $6.32 billion in 2018 sales, a 6.3 percent jump.

Global rolled products, its second division which makes sheet and plates products for the aviation and automotive industries, reported a 12.1 percent jump in sales to $5.60 billion.

Arconic did not specify which division it intends to spin off and when but said it will consider the sale of businesses that do not fit into either of the divisions.

The company said it expects to cut quarterly dividend to 2 cents per share from 6 cents, with a target to reduce operating costs by about $200 million on an annual run-rate basis.

Arconic shares fell nearly 3.2 percent to $17.12 on Friday, after rising as much as 2.6 percent in early trading.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Sriraj Kalluvila