Alcoa challenges assessment

Alcoa will appeal a stamp duty assessment it has received from the Western Australian Office of State Revenue regarding the sale of its share in the Worsley alumina refinery.


Alcoa plans to appeal a stamp duty assessment it has received from the Western Australian Office of State Revenue regarding the sale of its share in the Worsley alumina refinery to BHP Billiton in 2001.



The assessment, received this week, calls for Alcoa to pay approximately $120 million in stamp duty on the transaction, payable within three months. The costs associated with the assessment will not have a material impact on the company’s earnings.



Alcoa will object against the assessment to the Western Australian Office of State Revenue and appeal to the Australian courts if necessary.



Alcoa was required by various competition authorities to divest its Worsley share following Alcoa’s merger with Reynolds Metals. As part of the sale process Alcoa agreed to indemnify BHP Billiton against the potential stamp duty, which is imposed on buyers of real estate and companies considered to be land rich.