A process for production of a borohydride compound M(BH.sub.4).sub.y. The process has three steps. The first step combines a compound of formula (R.sup.1O).sub.yM with aluminum, hydrogen and a metallic catalyst containing at least one metal selected from the group consisting of titanium, zirconium, hafnium, niobium, vanadium, tantalum and iron to produce a compound of formula M(AlH.sub.3OR.sup.1).sub.y, wherein R.sup.1 is phenyl or phenyl substituted by at least one alkyl or alkoxy group; M is an alkali metal, Be or Mg; and y is one or two; wherein the catalyst is present at a level of at least 200 ppm based on weight of aluminum. The second step combines the compound of formula M(AlH.sub.3OR.sup.1).sub.y with a borate, boroxine or borazine compound to produce M(BH.sub.4).sub.y and a byproduct mixture containing alkali metal and aluminum aryloxides. The third step separates M(BH.sub.4).sub.y from the byproduct mixture.