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Platinum Equity Buying Alcoa Unit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc (AA.N) said on Thursday it agreed to sell its wire harness and electrical distribution business to Platinum Equity, a California-based private equity group.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The wire harness and electrical distribution business is the largest part of the Alcoa Electrical and Electronic Solutions business.

The transaction, expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter, has operations in 13 countries and involves about 17,500 employees, the Pittsburgh-based company said.

Alcoa said in January it intended to divest four non-core downstream businesses: Electrical and Electronic Systems; Global Foil; Cast Auto Wheels; and Transportation Products Europe.

The businesses had 2008 combined revenues of $1.8 billion and an estimated after-tax operating loss of about $105 million. Expected net proceeds for the divestitures are estimated to be approximately $100 million.

Alcoa said on Thursday it is in discussions with several parties on the sale of the remainder of the Electrical and Electronics business. (Reporting by Steve James, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)