In 1999, Alcan made a failed attempt to make a three-way merger between it and Algroup (Alsuisse Lonza Group) of Switzerland and Pechiney of France. The proposed merger was blacked by the European Commission due to fears of anti-competition. After the deal fell through, Alcan acquired Algroup in 2000. Former shareholders of Algroup now own about 34% of Alcan.
On July 7, 2003, Alcan announced an offer to Pechiney shareholders to acquire the French company. Pechiney did not want to be acquired and told its shareholders to reject the offer because Alcan's buying price was too low. Later Alcan raised its bid and Pechiney reluctantly accepted the hostile takeover. The merger still must receive EU approval in order to go through. The proposed combination would create the world's largest alumium company ranked by sales, with $24 billion in sales, compared to Alcoa's sales of $20 billion.
Alcan is based in Montreal, Quebec and had revenues of $12.5 billion and 54,000 employees worldwide in 2002.