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Aluminium smelting at Noranda in New Madrid, Mo

Molten aluminum is transferred into a furnace that will used to make aluminum rods at the Noranda aluminum smelting plant in New Madrid, Mo. on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Photo By David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

Noranda Aluminum's largest shareholder is selling its one-third stake in the company for $2.075 per share.

Underwriter Morgan Stanley agreed to purchase Apollo Global Management's Noranda shares for a total of $47.4 million, Noranda announced late Wednesday.

Noranda shares closed at $2.14 Wednesday and $2.26 Thursday. Shares in the company dropped more than 25 percent after the Monday announcement that Apollo was selling its stake. 

Apollo bought the Franklin, Tenn., company in 2007 and has been Noranda's largest shareholder since taking the company public in 2010. 

Noranda operates a primary aluminum smelter near New Madrid that is Ameren Missouri's largest customer. The smelter uses roughly 10 percent of the St. Louis utility's power. State regulators agreed to cut Noranda's electric rate late last month after the company warned it was facing a "liquidity crisis." 

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