October 26, 2017 / 12:53 AM / a year ago

China Zhongwang buys Australian aluminum superyacht builder

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd said on Thursday it had acquired a controlling stake in an Australian all-aluminum superyacht builder, as the Chinese firm aims to expand the application of aluminum in the marine sector.

China Zhongwang, the world’s second-largest aluminum extruder, said the purchase of a controlling stake in Perth-based Silver Yachts Ltd would advance the Chinese firm’s aluminum deep-processing strategy to the marine sector.

It gave no details on the value of the deal and the size of the stake it held in the Australian shipyard, which designs and builds large-sized, all-aluminum, high-performance superyachts.

In September, China Zhongwang announced that it had bought a controlling stake in a German aluminum extrusion firm that mainly supplies aircraft manufacturers.

As well as the Silver Yachts deal, Zhongwang’s chairman, aluminum tycoon Liu Zhongtian, is still locked in discussions with a much bigger acquisition target, U.S. aluminum products maker Aleris Corp.

But the proposed $2.33 billion purchase of Aleris by Zhongwang USA, an investment firm majority-owned by Liu, has faced opposition from U.S. senators, while the U.S. Department of Justice has accused Liu of smuggling. Liu has denied the claims.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Additional reporting by Tom Daly in BEIJING; Editing by Stephen Coates and Kenneth Maxwell

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