14 September 2011 19:04 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Huntsman wishes it could have acquired pigment producer Tronox in 2009, the chief financial officer of the US-based chemicals major said on Wednesday.
“Tronox was a great opportunity, I wish we could have bought it for $500m (€365m),” Huntsman chief financial officer Kimo Esplin told analysts during a webcast investor conference in ?xml:namespace>
“With [Tronox's] market cap of $2.5bn today, that would have been a nice trade,” he said.
However, Esplin ruled out that Huntsman may now go ahead and buy Tronox for $2.5bn. Nor will Huntsman undertake any big acquisition that could change its credit profile, he said.
“Coatings demand has not been good for three years, it’s pretty lousy,” he said.
The real drivers were TiO2 plant shutdowns during the 2008/2009 economic downturn. This meant that when demand got back to normal levels, supplies quickly became tight.
Another factor curbing TiO2 production are tight raw material supplies, Esplin said.
Even with the economy staying flat, TiO2 markets should stay tight for two or three more years, he added.
Huntsman expects to expand its TiO2 capacity by about 40,000 tonnes over the coming three years, from its current capacity of about 550,000 tonnes/year, he added.
($1 = €0.73)For more on Huntsman and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence
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