Noranda CEO buys $99k in NOR stock after PSC rate case


NEW MADRID, Mo. – Noranda Aluminum CEO Kip Smith bought $100,000 worth of shares of NOR last week, in what legislators are calling a “statement” in light of the company’ recent rate case compromise before the Public Service Commission. Noranda owns and operates an aluminum smelter in New Madrid that employs approximately 900 and accounts for approximately 15% of the primary aluminum produced in the United States.

“If he’s willing to invest his own money into the company, that shows commitment after the rate case,” said Sen. Gary Romine, R-Ste. Genevieve. “That purchase says he’s in it for the long haul. It’s really making a statement.”

The investment came one day after Noranda announced its second quarter 2015 earnings and its progress on key productivity initiatives. Describing those initiatives, the company cited “$15 million of project-specific financing to complete the construction of a strategically important rod mill at New Madrid.” The Company has previously reported that $15 million remains to be spent on the new mill out of a $55 million total cost and that it expects production at the mill to begin during the second quarter of 2016.

Stakeholders shared concerns that Noranda would leave Southeast Missouri just last year if they were not able to receive rate relief, which was eventually provided in a compromise earlier this year.

“There was a lot of concern that they were going to be leaving,” said Southeast Missouri Rep. Tila Hubrecht. “It shows confidence and commitment that [Smith] put more of his own money in it. Noranda’s presence here represents 900 high quality manufacturing jobs. I hope the news of the CEO’s investment bodes well for future Noranda investment in the smelter, because that’s what we need – jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Smith’s $99,960 investment on Thursday, July 23 purchased 196,000 shares at an average price of $0.51 per share and increased his NOR stake by 28.7% to 878,885 shares.

Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, and also produces This Week in Missouri Politics, publishes Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosts the #moleg podcast. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.

Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.

To contact Rachael, email, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.