RusAl Aims to Restructure Debt in 2 Months

United Company RusAl aims to agree on restructuring its debt with lenders in the next two months and called on competitors to curb output to shrink record inventories and halt a slump in prices.

"We are in intensive talks with our lenders, both Russian and international," Artyom Volynets, head of corporate strategy, said Tuesday in an interview with RBC Television.

RusAl is looking at "all" financing options, including bonds, Volynets said.

RusAl needs to refinance $16.3 billion of debt owed to Russian and foreign lenders as well as one of its shareholders, said billionaire owner and chairman Viktor Vekselberg on Jan. 30.

RusAl's Bratsk aluminum smelter asked Russia's markets watchdog this week to approve the sale of 60 billion rubles ($1.65 billion) in bonds.

Closely held RusAl also plans to save $1.3 billion in 2009 by slashing costs in half. The company is curtailing management expenses by 60 percent from February, cutting 5 percent of its workforce and freezing new hiring.

Production cuts of as much as 6 million tons, or 15 percent of 2008 global output, by companies worldwide are "clearly insufficient," Volynets said. "There must be additional cuts to balance demand and supply levels."