Tasnee to buy Lyondell TiO2 business for $1.2bn

26 February 2007 09:48  [Source: ICIS news]

By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Saudi Arabia-based National Industrialisation Co (Tasnee) is to buy US major Lyondell Chemical’s titanium dioxide (TiO2) business for $1.2bn through a subsidiary, a company official said on Monday.

The company hopes to complete the deal in 2007, subjected to approvals from the authorities, he said adding that subsidiary National Titanium Dioxide Co (Cristal) wants to expand its production through expansion and acquisition, the official said.

Tasnee holds a 66% stake in Cristal which produces 120,000 tonnes/year of TiO2 in Yanbu. It will expand its capacity to 180,000 tonnes/year by end-2007, the official said.

Citigroup analysts earlier estimate the sale of the business at $970m.

The Lyondell business, with a total capacity of 670,000 tonnes/year, is the second largest global producer of TiO2, behind DuPont. Londell owns three production facilities in Europe, two in France and one in the UK, as well as plants in the US, Australia and Brazil.

Earlier this month, Lyondell was reported to be investing $20m (€15m) to raise the production capacity for ultrafine titanium dioxide (TiO2) at its plant in Thann, France.

Ultrafine TiO2 is used in a variety of catalytic applications including post-combustion catalysis for gasoline diesel engines, nitrogen oxides reduction, Claus catalysis and fine chemical catalysis.

By: Florence Tan
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