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Tronox to Buy Titanium Dioxide Business

Monday, February 27, 2017

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Two major suppliers of titanium dioxide have announced plans for an acquisition that could create the world's largest TiO2 producer.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Tronox said Tuesday (Feb. 21) that it plans to acquire the TiO2 business of Cristal, a privately held global chemical and mining company, for $1.673 billion in cash and stock.

Tronox said it intends to begin the process of selling off its Alkali business in order to help fund the transaction.

Tronox
Photos: Tronox

The proposed acquisition would create the world's largest titanium dioxide producer, the companies say.

Closing is expected to occur before the first quarter 2018, subject to customary closing conditions, regulatory approvals and approval by Tronox shareholders. The acquisition has received the unanimous approval of the Tronox and Cristal boards of directors

Strategic Combination

The combination of Tronox and Cristal would create the world’s largest TiO2 pigment producer, with assets and operations on six continents. The united company would operate 11 plants in eight countries with a total capacity of 1.3 million metric tons per annum.

Tronox CEO Tom Casey called the proposed deal an “extraordinary opportunity” that aims to bring “significant value to our shareholders, our customers and our employees.”

TiO2 is a raw material widely used in the paint and coatings industry as a pigment to provide hiding, durability and whiteness characteristics. Tronox is currently the world’s sixth-largest TiO2 maker. The company operates three plants in the U.S, Netherlands and Australia and employs 3,400 people worldwide.

About Cristal

Cristal is the second largest TiO2 producer in the world, behind the DuPont spin-off company Chemours.

Cristal is primarily owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Industrialization Co. (Tasnee). Currently, the company operates eight manufacturing plants in seven countries and employs approximately 4,100 people worldwide.

Tasnee CEO Mutlaq Al-Morished commented, “This transaction enables Cristal and Tronox to position the combined businesses for long-term success in the TiO2 industry.

“This also allows Tasnee to focus on its petrochemical assets, downstream business and other strategic business development opportunities, while substantially deleveraging its balance sheet,” he said.

Leadership Plan

Casey will remain chairman and CEO of the combined company, according to Tronox.

titanium dioxide pigment is used in numerous everyday products including paint and coating

Titanium dioxide pigment is used in numerous everyday products including paints and coatings.

The size of the company's board of directors will remain unchanged at nine members. Cristal's owners will receive two of the nine existing board seats. Exxaro Mineral Resources will remain on the board with its three seats. 

The new company's corporate offices will remain in Stamford, and it will continue as a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and remain incorporated in the state of Western Australia, Australia. 

Selling Soda Ash Unit

Tronox anticipates completing the sale of its Alkali business in the second half of 2017.

“Our intent to sell Alkali comes at an attractive time as the global market for natural soda ash is recovering and prices are improving,” said Casey.

“Alkali has continually sold every ton of product it produces. The caliber of the Alkali workforce and their commitment to safe, high-quality production are unmatched in the natural soda ash industry. I thank the leadership team and all Alkali employees for their contributions to Tronox," added Casey.

   

Tagged categories: Acquisitions; Business matters; Coating chemistry; Coatings raw materials manufacturers; Pigments; Raw materials; Titanium dioxide; Tronox

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