Rockwood looking to leave TiO2 business by end of year: CEO

19 February 2013 21:02  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Rockwood Holdings plans to exit the titanium oxide (TiO2) business by the end of the year, the US-based company confirmed on Tuesday.

“We did set a timetable that by end of 2013, we plan to divest ourselves of this business either by selling it, spinning it to our shareholders or reducing our share ownership in this business to a very small minority position,” Rockwood CEO Saifi Ghasemi said during a conference call on Q4 and 2012 earnings.

Earlier this month, Rockwood bought Kemira’s 39% stake in Germany-based TiO2 joint venture Sachtleben, giving the specialty chemicals company 100% ownership.

But the buyout of the Finnish company’s stake wasn’t done to further invest in TiO2 production, Ghasemi said.

“One of the options that they have discussed about TiO2 is to spin it off to our shareholders,” he said. “We could not do it tax-free unless we own more than 80% of the business.”

Weak Ti02 demand was cited by the company as a driver behind company’s 66% year-on-year drop in net income in Q4 2012.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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