US Huntsman outlines possible fate of TiO2 business

31 July 2013 16:58  [Source: ICIS news]

US Huntsman outlines possible fate of TiO2 businessHOUSTON (ICIS)--The CEO of US-based Huntsman on Wednesday outlined the possible fate of its titanium dioxide (TiO2) business, as it is one of several companies considering options for its pigment unit.

Huntsman has been considering some sort of action that would result in consolidation of the TiO2 market, said Peter Huntsman, company CEO, who made his comments during an earnings conference call.

Huntsman, however, did not specify whether the company would be a buyer or a seller in such a deal.

Some possible scenarios for the business include merging it, selling it or combining it with another business and spinning it off, Huntsman said.

"There are multiple options here," he said.

Huntsman relies mostly on the sulphate process to produce TiO2, so it uses ilmenite and sulphate slag as a feedstock. Other producers rely on the chloride process.

About 72% of Huntsman's TiO2 capacity is in western Europe.

In 2012, Huntsman's TiO2 business provided the company with 12% of its revenue and 23% of its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

The industry has been suffering because of a glut in material. Huntsman attributed a 62% drop in Q2 net income on lower earnings from its TiO2 business.

Huntsman is among several producers considering various options for its pigment business.

DuPont is considering spinning off its performance chemicals segment, which includes TiO2.

Rockwood Holdings plans to either sell or spin off its TiO2 business. The company may also reduce its share ownership in the business to a very small position.

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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