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Accuride and Kaiser Aluminum formalize partnership to form AKW L.P.

HENDERSON, Ky. and HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 5, 1997--Accuride Corp. and Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp. have formed a global joint venture called AKW L.P. The new entity combines the resources of Kaiser and Accuride to design, manufacture and market aluminum wheels for the commercial transportation industry. Additionally, AKW manufactures aluminum two-piece tire curing molds previously manufactured by Kaiser for 40 years.

AKW has its own management team and is headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Accuride and Kaiser own equal interests in the new entity. AKW is planning a multi-million dollar investment in the reconfiguration and modernization of its facilities to substantially increase production capacity.

"The formation of AKW L.P. formalizes a long-time relationship between Accuride and Kaiser," according to Jack Hockema, president of Kaiser's Engineered Products business unit. "The two companies have collaborated for 25 years to supply aluminum wheels to the heavy duty transportation market. They have also pioneered styled wheels and have served as the standard aluminum wheel supplier for major original equipment manufacturers."

"The primary objective of AKW is to serve customers better by meeting the increasing market demand for highly stylized, lighter weight, more efficient products," says Bill Curtin, vice president of operations for AKW.

"By combining Kaiser's facilities, equipment, and forging technology with Accuride's expertise in product engineering, testing and customer relationships with OEMs and domestic and international distributors, AKW is well positioned to aggressively expand the aluminum segment of the wheel market," says William Greubel, president of Accuride.

As part of its launch, AKW will introduce Silverback(TM) wheels, a new brand of 19.5", 22.5" and 24.5" forged aluminum wheels. Primary markets for Silverback wheels will be OEMs of medium and heavy trucks, trailers, RVs, buses and other commercial equipment, and the motor carrier parts aftermarket.

As part of the transaction, Kaiser contributed to AKW certain wheel and tire mold manufacturing equipment and assets located primarily at Kaiser's Erie, Pa., facility and has received an undisclosed amount of cash. Kaiser continues to own the Erie plant and assets located there that were not contributed to AKW. Kaiser continues to produce other aluminum products for its customers at the Erie plant. Certain portions of the Erie plant have been leased to AKW for manufacturing purposes.

Accuride is the largest manufacturer of commercial steel rims and wheels in North America and offers a full line of wheels for trucks and trailers, including steel, forged and cast aluminum, and ProSteelTM premium steel wheels. Based in Henderson, Ky., Accuride operates manufacturing plants in Henderson and London, Ontario, Canada, with field service representatives and distributors located throughout North America. Accuride Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Phelps Dodge Corp., which operates major mining and manufacturing facilities and employs more than 15,000 people in 25 countries.

Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp. is one of the world's leading producers and marketers of alumina, primary aluminum, and fabricated aluminum products. It is a subsidiary of Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NYSE:KLU). Maxxam Inc. (ASE:MXM) directly and indirectly holds approximately 62 percent of Kaiser Aluminum Corp. on a fully diluted basis.

CONTACT: Kaiser Aluminum, Houston

Scott Lamb, 713/267-3826


Mimi Brodt/Lora Hasty of CRE MARCOM, 317/631-0260
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 5, 1997
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