Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) faces a new challenge in its major legal battle against Alcoa, which escalated this week after its rival, based in Pittsburgh, moved closer to the dismissal of a US$1 billion racketeering case.
Last Thursday, a judge in a Pennsylvania court reopened a racketeering case launched by Alba in 2008, allowing Alcoa the chance to seek its dismissal.
"After three-and-a-half years, we can have our day in court," Lori Lecker, a spokeswoman for Alcoa, told Bloomberg News.
"We look forward to filing our motion to dismiss."
The judge gave Alba 20 days to file an amended case.
During hard times for aluminium producers, dismissal of the case would be a significant blow for Alba, which is 69.3 per cent owned by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding, the kingdom's investment arm.
Aluminium has fallen 23.4 per cent to $2,146 per tonne since peaking in March this year.
Shares in Alba rose 2.8 per cent to 535 fils in trading on the Bahrain Bourse yesterday.
Alba sued in 2008 seeking damages in excess of $1bn, including punitive damages, for what it characterised as a "massive, outrageous fraud" related to inflated prices it paid for alumina, a key component in smelting.
The case centres around Victor Dahdaleh, a London businessman.
Alba has recovered about $30 million from European companies in cases linked to the alleged fraud.
On October 24, the UK's Serious Fraud Office arrested Mr Dahdaleh and charged him with corruption offences relating to alleged bribes made to Alba.
Alba reported a profit of 80.5m Bahraini dinars for the third quarter, up from a loss of 19.1m for the same period a year earlier.