Two series of ligands based on diaminocyclohexane (DACH) have been prepared and successfully complexed to Al(III) and Zn(II) metal centres. Solution and solid-state studies reveal a tendency to form mono- or bis-ligated forms depending on the steric bulk of the ligand. These complexes have been tested for their ability to ring open rac-lactide. Al(III) based complexes generally gave atactic PLA after a polymerization time of 1-2 days. The Zn(II) complexes, were found to be more active and furnished PLA with a slight heterotactic bias.