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May 2, 2000

Eight Leading Metals Companies Form Metalspectrum, an Independent Neutral Online Site to Serve Manufacturers, Distributors and Customers in the Specialty Metals Business

ATLANTA--May 2, 2000-- MetalSpectrum will offer both buyers and sellers a comprehensive range of specialty metals and business services beginning in September

Alcoa Inc., Allegheny Technologies, Kaiser Aluminum, North American Stainless, Olin Corporation, Reynolds Aluminum Supply Company, Thyssen Inc., NA and Vincent Metal Goods/Atlas Ideal Metals today announced the establishment of MetalSpectrum, an independent neutral online marketplace designed to reduce costs and increase market opportunity for the entire supply and demand chain - from manufacturers to distributors to customers - in the $200 billion global specialty metals industry. The Web site is expected to be fully functional by September 2000.

The MetalSpectrum initial partners have agreements in place to enable the site to provide market access to a comprehensive range of specialty metals including aluminum, stainless steel, copper, brass, nickel alloys and titanium at significant volumes.

MetalSpectrum is about the specialty metals industry getting closer to its customers, said Alain J.P. Belda, Alcoa president and chief executive officer. Our customers expect their suppliers to continuously improve the value of the products and services delivered to them. As industry leaders, the eight partners of MetalSpectrum are responding by creating a unique and neutral online marketplace. The industry will benefit from the increased market reach and reduced costs that electronic commerce offers.

Thomas A. Corcoran, Allegheny Technologies' president and chief executive officer added, MetalSpectrum is unique because it offers a broad portfolio of specialty metals products and services tailored to meet the needs of buyers and sellers alike. Significantly, the leaders of specialty metals manufacturing and distribution support this venture. MetalSpectrum will enable us to provide customer-oriented solutions using the very latest B2B technology.

In commenting on today's announcement, Kenneth J. Graham, president and chief executive officer of Thyssen Inc., NA, pointed to MetalSpectrum's neutrality and future as an independent entity. This is a truly neutral site allowing equal access to every buyer and seller. There are no preferential trading positions for the founding partners.

MetalSpectrum is currently under the guidance of a Board drawn from the ranks of the initial partners and has been supported from its inception by members of the Boston Consulting Group.

Graham continued, The partners have appointed Alcoa's Robert Wetherbee as acting CEO to move us aggressively toward our September launch.

In addition, the MetalSpectrum management team expects to announce its choice of a technology partner within two weeks. The new company will be headquartered in Atlanta.

For more information about MetalSpectrum, please visit

MetalSpectrum Background

Site Features and Customer Service Functions

MetalSpectrum will demonstrate exceptional breadth and depth of products and services brought by both the site's functionality and its network of manufacturers and distributors. To provide market access to sellers and pricing transparency to buyers, MetalSpectrum will support core exchange functions including:

» Prime Metals Catalog - comprehensive product listing and searching capabilities for a wide range of products
» MRO Catalog - offers highly efficient purchasing capability of maintenance, repair and operating supplies
» Forward and Reverse Auctions - for buying, selling and procuring prime products as well as providing a platform for electronic Requests for Quotes
» Additionally, the site will eventually support the transaction process with financing, logistics and reporting services.

About MetalSpectrum

MetalSpectrum plans to be a leading online neutral marketplace for aluminum, stainless steel and other specialty metals. The initial partners are Alcoa Inc., (NYSE: AA), Allegheny Technologies (NYSE: ATI), Thyssen Inc., NA, North American Stainless, Kaiser Aluminum (NYSE: KLU), Olin Corporation (NYSE: OLN), Reynolds Aluminum Supply Company, a division of Reynolds Metals Company (NYSE: RLM) and Vincent Metal Goods/Atlas Ideal Metals. The site is expected to be fully functional by September 2000.

About the Initial Partners

» Alcoa Inc. -- world's leading producer of aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina.
» Allegheny Technologies Incorporated - leading global producer of specialty materials, including flat-rolled stainless steel as well as nickel alloy and titanium products.
» Kaiser Aluminum - leading producer of alumina, primary aluminum, flat-rolled products and engineered products.
» North American Stainless - leading manufacturer of flat-rolled stainless steel products.
» Olin Corporation - global basic materials company and leading North American producer of copper alloys.
» Reynolds Aluminum Supply Company (RASCO) - North America's largest aluminum distributor and a leading supplier of stainless steel and other specialty metals.
» Thyssen Inc. North America -- Thyssen Inc., NA, through its TMX Division is a leading North American distributor and processor of steel, non-ferrous metals and plastics.
» Vincent Metal Goods/Atlas Ideal Metals (Rio Algom Metals Distribution) -- one of the largest metals distribution businesses in North America.