Huntsman confident of swift approval for Rockwood TiO2 deal: CEO

17 September 2013 16:24  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Huntsman is confident that competition authorities in the EU and the US will quickly grant regulatory approval for its planned acquisition of Rockwood’s TiO2 and performance additives business, the CEO of the US-based chemicals firms said on Tuesday.

The acquisition, announced earlier on Tuesday, will make Huntsman the world's second-largest TiO2 producer after DuPont.

CEO Peter Huntsman told analysts in a webcast briefing that despite a 16% share of global TiO2 production capacity and a strong position in Europe, the Huntsman-Rockwood combination should not face big regulatory hurdles.

“We see TiO2 as a globally fungible product, and we believe that [regulatory approvals will] get through fairly quickly,” Huntsman said.

“Between 25 to 30% of the TiO2 that is produced on a global basis is moved out of region, and moved around the world,” he said.

Huntsman pointed in particular to TiO2 trade flows into Europe from North America and Asia, and vice versa.

“We are going to work very quickly with the regulators both in Europe and North America,” he said.

Huntsman expects to complete the deal in the first half of 2014 and plans to list the combined Huntsman-Rockwood TiO2 business in an initial public offering (IPO) within two years of closing the acquisition.

Additional reporting by Graeme Paterson in London

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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