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Huntsman TiO2 Spinoff Launches IPO

Monday, July 31, 2017

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Global chemical firm Huntsman International LLC (The Woodlands, Texas) announced last week that subsidiary company Venator Materials PLC has launched its initial public offering and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in August.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the IPO for the new pigments business totals nearly $500 million. The spinoff company’s IPO comes before the merger of Huntsman and European chemical company Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland), which is slated for completion at the end of 2017 or early 2018.

Shares will be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “VNTR.”

Huntsman

Huntsman announced that subsidiary company Venator Materials PLC launched its initial public offering last week.

Currently, the IPO consists of 2.7 million ordinary shares, with a slated offering price of $20 to $22 per share. Huntsman is selling the shares, and the company says Venator will not receive any proceeds from the offering. As it stands, Huntsman plans to offer grant underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 3.4 million shares.

Venator Materials PLC

Venator—which is the Latin name for “hunter,” and a play on the Huntsman company name—will largely focus on the chemical titanium dioxide, the parent company said in a press release. This pigment is used in a range of products, from paint to sunscreen to food coloring.

As a company, Venator will operate more cyclically than Huntsman’s other specialty chemical offerings. As a result, it’s projected that there will be more financial peaks and valleys.

Huntsman-Clariant Merger

The pending merger between the chemical firms would create HuntsmanClariant, which is predicted to be valued at $14 billion. The headquarters for the new, merged entity would be in Pratteln, Switzerland, which is Clariant’s hometown, a choice made in part for tax purposes. The Woodlands, however, would become the operational headquarters for HuntsmanClariant.

The merger has been questioned by shareholders of the Swiss company.

Investment firm 40 North (New York) and hedge fund Corvex, led by activist investor Keith Meister, had recently acquired 23.9 million shares (or 7.2 percent) of Clariant, and were actively trying to push the Swiss company into exploring alternatives to the already agreed upon merger with Huntsman.

Despite concerns from invested parties, the companies expect the deal, valued at $20 billion, to close before the end of the year and say they are “confident that the required regulatory approvals can be obtained in a timely manner.”

Last week, Clariant issued its first merger update to shareholders, noting that  "no regulatory roadblocks are expected," and the "great working spirit" within the post-merger integration planning team "confirms the cultural fit between both organizations."

   

Tagged categories: AS; Asia Pacific; Clariant; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EU; Finance; Huntsman; Latin America; Mergers; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; SA; Titanium dioxide

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