Kaiser Aluminum Corp. plans to move its headquarters from Houston to Southern California during the next few months.
Such a move would geographically sever the company’s connection to Maxxam Inc., the conglomerate owned by financier Charles Hurwitz. Maxxam holds a majority of Kaiser’s stock.
Spokesman Scott Lamb said the move would help Kaiser save money. The company already has a fabricated products division based in Orange County.
If Kaiser emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this fall as anticipated, it will be a much smaller firm focused on making aluminum products rather than a diversified company with worldwide operations. The Trentwood rolling mill figures to be a key player in Kaiser’s financial future.
Lamb said Kaiser has about 40 employees in Houston. Some have been offered jobs in the transfer, however most of the clerical and many of the professional positions will be filled through local hiring in Southern California.
The move should be completed by summer.
Kaiser stockholders will most likely lose their investment should the company emerge from bankruptcy. Lamb said existing common stock will be canceled without consideration upon approval of the company’s probable plan of reorganization.
The company’s headquarters were located on the same floor of the same building in Houston as Maxxam.
Since Kaiser filed for bankruptcy nearly three years ago, however, Maxxam reportedly has had little to do with Kaiser’s operations. As a shareholder, Maxxam is in line well below bondholders, vendors and other creditors owed billions by Kaiser.
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