TORONTO – Alcoa Inc., seeking to keep pace with growing Russian rival Rusal, launched a hostile $27 billion bid for Canadian aluminum rival Alcan Inc. on Monday, after failing in almost two years of private talks to reach a negotiated deal. Alcan’s U.S. shares rose 34.5 percent, well above the offered price, suggesting investors think the bidding could go higher. Alcoa shares gained 8.3 percent. Montreal-based Alcan said its board “will consider the proposal” and advised shareholders to await its recommendation. Alcoa said the proposed cash-and-stock deal would create a premier diversified global aluminum company, which could grow faster than the two companies could on their own. “I know from almost two years of private discussions with Alcan that they also see the strategic logic behind this combination,” said Alain Belda, Alcoa’s chairman and CEO. “I’m disappointed that we were not able to come to a negotiated transaction, and while I’m taking this offer to shareholders I hope that this combination can move forward with the support of Alcan management and board.” Alcoa said in announcing the offer that the companies’ talks had reached the board level last fall. The company plans to begin its offer today. The combined company, with 188,000 employees in 67 countries, would have had revenue last year of $54 billion and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $9.5 billion. The combined company’s alumina capacity would be about 21.5 million metric tons,, and its aluminum capacity would be approximately 7.8 million metric tons. Alumina is used to make aluminum. A metric ton is about 2,204.6 pounds. Until recently both companies were the world’s top two producers of aluminum, but they now lag behind Rusal of Moscow. Rusal, its rival Sual and Swiss-based commodities trader Glencore International AG completed the combination of their assets at the end of March, creating United Company Rusal and surpassing Alcoa as the world’s largest aluminum producer. The Alcan deal would vault Alcoa past Rusal in aluminum production. “The reality is that commodities businesses are consolidating globally,” Morningstar analyst Scott Burns said. “When foreign countries like Russia allow their two largest aluminum producers to merge and really dominate that market, and you’ve got a company called Chalco in China where the Chinese government has made no secret that they want this to be a national champion, I think it really gives a company like Alcoa a nice leg to stand on in terms of regulatory objection.” New York-based Alcoa, which plans to maintain dual headquarters in Montreal and New York, sees annual pretax cost savings of about $1 billion from its proposed combination with Alcan in the third year after the deal closes.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!