Commodities & Metals

Apollo Calls to Abandon Ship on Noranda

Secondary offerings are often meant for companies to raise more capital, but in the case of Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. (NYSE: NOR), it appears that this is a call by Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) to abandon ship. Not only are the Apollo affiliates (selling stockholders) dumping the stock, but it seems that some might even vacate Noranda’s board.

Tuesday morning, Noranda announced the pricing of its previously announced secondary offering. The offering will consist of 22,840,000 shares of common stock held by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management.

The sole underwriter for the offering is Morgan Stanley, and the offering is expected to close on or about May 15.

Note that the company will not sell any shares in the offering and will not receive any proceeds. Prior to this offering, the selling stockholders controlled a stake of roughly 33% of the outstanding shares.

Following the completion of this offering, the selling stockholders will no longer own any shares of the common stock. At the same time, it is expected that Matthew Michelini, Matthew Nord, Eric Press and Robert Kalsow-Ramos, who are affiliates of the selling stockholders, will resign from Noranda’s board of directors.

Some background on Noranda: The company is a North American integrated producer of value-added primary aluminum products, as well as high-quality rolled aluminum coils. The company has a market cap of around $154 million.

In early May, Noranda’s board of directors announced a quarterly recurring dividend of $0.01, which will be paid next on June 10.

Shares are down about 14.5% year to date, as of Monday’s closing price. Over the past few years, the stock has been on the decline, and it does not seem surprising that investors would want to abandon ship. As far back as 2011, the Noranda was a $15 stock. Shares dropped below $6 in 2013, and the stock has not seen that level since then.

Shares of Noranda were down 26,7% at $2.20 late Tuesday morning, after hitting a multiyear low earlier at $2.14. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $3.81 and a 52-week trading range of $2.14 to $5.64.

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