February 27, 2004

Alcoa Completes Sale of Specialty Chemicals Business To Rhone Capital and Teachers' Merchant Bank for $342 Million

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 27, 2004--Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) announced today that Alcoa World Alumina & Chemicals (AWAC), a global alliance between Alumina Limited (40%) and Alcoa (60%), has completed the sale of Alcoa Specialty Chemicals to two private equity firms led by Rhone Capital LLC for approximately $342 million which includes the assumption of debt and other unfunded obligations. This sale is part of the divestiture program announced by Alcoa in January 2003.

The Specialty Chemicals business consists of 11 operating facilities in six countries around the world. In addition to facilities in North America, Europe, Japan, and an equity stake in Australia, Specialty Chemicals operates production and processing centers in China and India. The business' products are sold into a wide range of end markets including the steel, cement, petrochemical, plastics, automotive, non-ferrous metal production, ceramics, carpet manufacturing and electronics industries. Specialty Chemicals has annual revenues of approximately $360 million, and employs approximately 800 people. Under the new ownership, the business will be renamed Almatis and will continue to leverage its leading global market position and excellent growth opportunities.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 120,000 employees in 41 countries. For more information go to www.alcoa.com

The investment in Almatis will come from Rhone Partners II L.P., Rhone's second private equity fund and Teachers' Merchant Bank, the private equity arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

About Rhone

Rhone Capital LLC was founded in 1997 and has offices in London, Paris and New York. Rhone Capital, a closely-held firm, specializes in mid-market leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and partnerships with particular focus on European and trans-Atlantic investments.

Rhone invests in partnership with management and currently has investments in a diversified portfolio of companies including American Remanufacturers, Inc., a leading North American supplier of re-manufactured automotive parts; De Dietrich S.A., a diversified manufacturer of chemical processing and heating equipment; Fraikin Groupe, the largest truck leasing company in France; Home Fragrance Holdings, Inc., the largest North American manufacturer of private-label scented candles; Terphane Ltda., a leading producer of polyester film for the consumer packaging market; and Primus International Inc., a leading manufacturer of aerospace parts.

About Teachers' Merchant Bank

Teachers' Merchant Bank is the private equity arm of the C$75 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. With a portfolio of over C$4.5 billion, Teachers' Merchant Bank is one of Canada's largest private investors presently working with more than 100 companies around the world to create value by providing long-term flexible capital.

UBS Investment Bank served as exclusive financial advisor to Alcoa in connection with this transaction.

Contacts for Almatis, Ontario Teachers' and Rhone are:

Almatis - Gabrielle Drees +

Ontario Teachers' - Lee Fullerton +1.416.730.5347

Rhone - Andrew Sweet +44.20.7761.1100

Forward Looking Statement

Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Alcoa to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include the company's inability to complete feasibility studies, unexpected changes in global economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory factors, and the other risk factors summarized in Alcoa's 2002 Form 10-K Report and other SEC reports.

New web sites for this former Alcoa business:

Almatis Alumina Chemicals

Almatis Adsorbents and Catalysts