LONDON (AP) -- Steel company Rio Tinto PLC said Wednesday it has received an offer from Sun European Partners LLP to acquire its Alcan Beauty Packaging business.
Rio Tinto said the terms of the binding offer are confidential, adding that it has entered into a period of exclusivity with Sun European as it considers the offer.
The beauty packaging division, a leader in the market for plastic packaging for beauty products, employs around 8,000 people in 26 plants across 12 countries. It is the only part of Alcan Packaging still owned by Rio Tinto after it sold a large chunk of the business to Australian packaging company Amcor in a deal worth around $2 billion earlier this year.
"This binding offer is another important step towards completing the divestment of the Alcan Packaging businesses," Rio Tinto Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliott said in a statement. "We believe the offer is in the interests of all stakeholders and represents a good outcome for our shareholders."
Rio Tinto has sold more than $10 billion in non-core assets since February 2008 to help pay off debts due mostly to its acquisition of Canadian aluminum giant Alcan for $38 billion in 2007.
It accepted Amcor's offer to buy Alcan Packaging's global pharmaceuticals, global tobacco and food divisions in Europe and Asia. The sale of Alcan Packaging Medical Flexibles in the United States to Amcor is still under review by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The offer from Sun European is a formal, legally binding approach.