UpdateCorrected: Tata Chem to buy US soda ash maker

31 January 2008 14:53  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined "Tata to buy US soda ash maker" dated 31 January, please read in the first paragraph ... for $1.01bn in a deal... instead of ...$1.1bn for in a deal.. A corrected story follows.

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--India’s Tata Chemicals has agreed to acquire US based General Chemical Industrial Products (GCIP) for $1.01bn in a deal that would raise the firm's total soda ash capacity and provide market access to North America, Latin America and Far East, the firm said on Thursday.

"The acquisition is timely as it has come at a time when the rupee is strong," Homi Khusrokhan, managing director of Tata Chemicals, said in a press conference.

Khusrokhan added that the acquisition would be funded through debt and equity, but did not specify when it would be completed.

However, chief financial officer and and executive vice-president PK Ghose said that Tata Chemical could acquire the soda ash company within 30-60 days, in accordance with Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSRA).

HSRA provides that before acquisition transactions can close, both parties must file a Notification and Report Form with the Federal Trade Commission and the assistant attorney-general in charge of the anti-trust division of the Justice Department.

The transaction is conditional on the acceptance of stockholder and other regulatory approvals from US, ICIS news had earlier reported.

The shareholders include Harbinger Capital Partners, which has a majority stake in the firm and employees of GCIP, he added.

"Over 50% of this [soda ash] capacity will be from the natural route, which is a significantly more economical route for producing soda ash than the synthetic route and is a natural hedge against the community cycle," it added.

GCIP subsidiary General Chemical Soda Ash Partners (GCSAP) is a significant soda ash producer and has mining and manufacturing facilities located at Green River Basin in Wyoming

These provide access to the most economically recoverable trona ore deposits which are then converted into soda ash, the company said.

By: Aaron Rodrigues
+65 6780 4359

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