BP to Sell Arco Aluminum for $680 Million

Updated from 4:17 a.m. EDT

LONDON ( TheStreet) -- BP ( BP), the British oil company, said Monday it agreed to sell its Arco Aluminum subsidiary to a consortium of Japanese companies for $680 million.

Arco Aluminum, based in Louisville, Kentucky, makes rolled aluminum sheet for beverage cans.

The Japanese consortium is made up of Sumitomo Light Metal Industries, Furukawa Sky Aluminum, Sumitomo Corp., Itochu Corp., and Itochu Metals Corp. .

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

"Although a strong business, Arco Aluminum is clearly a non-strategic asset for BP. Today's agreement will deliver an attractive price for the business, unlocking its value for our shareholders," said Bob Dudley, BP group CEO, in a statement.

BP said it remains on track to meet its target of divesting itself of $30 billion of assets by the end of 2011. To date, it has agreed to sell assets with a value of more than $24 billion.

Separately, BP has asked U.S. regulators for permission to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, two company officials said on Sunday, The New York Times reported, close to a year after a rig leased by BP exploded spewing an estimated 200 million gallons of oil into the sea.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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