The resulting scramble is expected to create further uncertainty over the future of the aluminium supply chain for the food and beverage industry. If Alcoa is successful in its plans to acquire Alcan, the resulting merger would create the world's largest aluminium supplier, reducing competition within the market for aluminium products. With such a stake in the aluminium market up for grabs, the potential benefits have not gone unnoticed by others within the industry. The Rueters news agency reported today that Indian group Hindalco and Sterlite Industries were separately looking for partners with which to table their own bids. This comes on the back of growing speculation that Norway-based Norsk Hydro is also preparing a financial package it hopes can trump Alcoa's offer. Despite increased interest over the deal, Alcoa believes it still leads the pack over concluding any agreement. Following its reaffirmed offer for the group last week, Alcoa chairman Alain Belda, stressed his belief that the group's offer best complimented Alcan's existing operations. "Alcoa is the most logical partner for Alcan, and our proposed combination is driven by an unquestionable strategic and industrial logic," he stated. Pointing to increased competition within emerging markets like Asia and Eastern Europe, Belda suggested that merging with Alcan is vitally important for its future success within the market. "The proposed transaction addresses the long-term challenges posed by competitors emerging in Russia, China, India and the Middle East," he added. "Together, Alcoa and Alcan will create a premier aluminium company with a strong, complementary portfolio of businesses."