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China's Zhongwang, Aleris extend merger deadline amid smuggling claims

China's Zhongwang, Aleris extend merger deadline amid smuggling claims
From Reuters - September 15, 2017

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese-owned aluminum firm Zhongwang USA and its acquisition targetAleris Corp (ALSD.PK) have decided to extend a deadline to complete their merger by two weeks, according to representatives of the two companies.

The extension comes amid reports of smuggling allegations made this week by the U.S. Department of Justice against Chinese aluminum tycoon Liu Zhongtian, owner of Zhongwang USA.

It was not clear if there was link between the complaint filed this week by the Department of Justice and the extension.

We remain in discussions with Zhongwang USA on the pending acquisition of Aleris, Jason Saragian, a spokesman for the Cleveland, Ohio-based manufacturer of aluminum rolled products,said by email.

To allow those discussions to continue, we have decided to extend our merger agreementthrough September 29, Saragian said. The previous deadline lapsed on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Zhongwang, an aluminum extruder, confirmed the extension. Zhongwang USA is not part of Hong Kong- listed China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd (1333.HK), although Liu heads up both companies.

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