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INEOS to Acquire Cristal's North American TiO2 Business

Friday, March 22, 2019

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Chemical company INEOS Enterprises announced Tuesday (March 19) the intention to acquire the North American business of National Titanium Dioxide Company Limited (Cristal) (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) from Tronox Limited (Stanford, Connecticut) for $700 million.

Cristal is the second-largest TiO2 producer in the world, behind the DuPont spin-off company Chemours. TiO2 is a raw material widely used in the paints and coatings industry as a pigment to provide hide, durability and whiteness characteristics.

According to INEOS, the North American business deal will include two plants, located at the complex in Ashtabula, Ohio. The plan is also an amendment made to the deal involving Tronox’s move to acquire Cristal's global business.

Deal History

Tronox’s acquisition of Cristal was up in the air after The United States Federal Trade Commission said in December 2017 that if the merger were to go through, the new Tronox-Cristal entity and Chemours would together control “the vast majority of chloride titanium dioxide manufacturing capacity in the North American market.”

Tronox

Chemical company INEOS Enterprises announced Tuesday (March 19) the intention to acquire the North American business of National Titanium Dioxide Company Limited (Cristal) (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) from Tronox Limited (Stanford, Connecticut) for $700 million.

The European Commission found that the acquisition would significantly reduce competition in “the European market for chloride-based titanium dioxide pigment for use in paper laminate."

However, the EC found that the deal would not restrict competition for TiO2 use for other products, just the paper laminate. So, to address those concerns, Tronox offered to divest its “business in titanium dioxide pigment for paper laminate comprising the required technology and other intangibles to an experienced manufacturer with chloride-based production technology active in the European Economic Area.”

Tronox announced the approval of that buyer, Venator Materials, (a United Kingdom-based chemical manufacturing company that spun off from Huntsman International LLC last year) on Aug. 20.

In September 2018, Tronox announced that the EC had further approved the company's acquisition of Cristal by green-lighting the divestiture of Tronox’s 8120 paper-laminate product.

INEOS Acquisition

Selling the North American business to INEOS, a move that will make INEOS the second largest producer of the product in North America, has gained support from both Cristal and Tronox’s North American customers.

“This is a great opportunity for INEOS to enter the pigments market, by acquiring a competitive business, with excellent people and assets,” said Ashley Reed, CEO of INEOS Enterprises.

“INEOS has a strong track record of manufacturing excellence, running its businesses safely and reliably and working closely with customers to meet their growth aspirations.”

Both the transaction and the remedy proposal have yet to be approved by the Federal Trade Commission.

“This is a great opportunity for INEOS to enter the pigments market and become the second largest producer of titanium dioxide in the key North American market,” said INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe.

   

Tagged categories: Acquisitions; Business matters; EU; Europe; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Titanium dioxide; Tronox

Comment from Jungkeun Cha, (4/3/2019, 3:29 PM)

In Europe TiO2 when inhaled, it may be classified 2 as a cancer causing material. Does INEOS in knowledge of that? Or in depth knowledge on the material?


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