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Pechiney and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Join Online Mining and Metals Procurement Marketplace as Equity Participants.

Business Editors

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 31, 2000

The global online procurement marketplace recently formed by 14 mining, metals and minerals companies today announced that Pechiney and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter have joined the venture as equity participants. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter also will serve as financial advisor to the marketplace.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is considered a leader in the creation of business-to-business (B2B) exchanges and has assisted in the creation of marketplaces for numerous industries, including auto parts, chemicals, energy and petrochemicals, aerospace and defense, European electric and water utilities, paper and forest products, and electronics, computers and telecommunications equipment.

Pechiney is the world's third largest producer of aluminum. It operates in all facets of primary aluminum production (bauxite mining, alumina refining, and primary aluminum smelting), and its smelting technology is recognized as one of the most efficient in the world. The company is one of the world's foremost aluminum fabricators with facilities in Europe and the United States. It also is the world's third largest flexible food and specialty packaging manufacturers. The company is represented in more than 60 countries and employs nearly 30,000 people worldwide.

Tracy A. Stevenson, interim CEO of the procurement marketplace, said, "We are delighted that Pechiney and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter have joined us as equity partners. The addition of two such well-regarded companies is further indication of the important role the marketplace will play in transforming the procurement practices of the industry.

"We have been working with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter since the formational days of the venture and expect that its leading position in investment banking and considerable expertise in the eCommerce arena will make an important contribution to the success of the marketplace. In addition, Pechiney is a highly respected company in the aluminum and manufacturing sector, and will add a very important dimension to our presence in Europe."

The online global procurement marketplace will create a platform to bring together mining, minerals and metals producers and suppliers in more than 100 countries and will provide unrivaled access to procurement sources worldwide. It is anticipated that the expansive, open and neutral platform will transform the procurement practices of the mining, minerals and metals industry and bring significant benefits to both suppliers and buyers through standardization, transparency, streamlined transaction processes and improved inventory management. The new virtual marketplace will utilize a common catalogue of products in multiple languages and will allow participants, regardless of size and location, to access and trade with a large pool of suppliers both locally and around the world. In 1999, the estimated procurement spending of the industry was approximately US$200 billion.

The 16 equity participants of the mining, minerals and metals procurement marketplace are Alcan Aluminium Limited, Alcoa Inc., Anglo American plc, Barrick Gold Corp, The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP), Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO), Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., Inco Limited, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Newmont Mining Corporation, Noranda Inc., Pechiney, Phelps Dodge Corporation, Rio Tinto, and WMC Limited. Andersen Consulting is serving as the solution provider to the marketplace during the design, build and launch phase.

For additional information about the mining and metals procurement marketplace refer to the venture's website, www.mmprocurement.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 31, 2000
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