US Tronox seeks to sell Cristal's TiO2 Ashtabula plant to INEOS

Author: Al Greenwood


HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tronox seeks to sell Cristal's pigment site in Ashtabula, Ohio to INEOS for $700m in a bid to get US approval of its pending acquisition of the fellow producer of titanium dioxide (TiO2), the US-based company said on Tueday.

Tronox said the proposed sale to INEOS should address concerns from US antitrust regulators.

An earlier attempt to sell the plant to Venator Materials had failed.

"INEOS is an experienced and sophisticated purchaser of chemical operating assets, with dozens of successful acquisitions in the last two decades, particularly in chemical carve-out acquisitions," according to a statement by Tronox CEO Jeffry Quinn.

INEOS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ashtabula has two plants with a combined capacity of 245,000 tonnes/year.

To proceed on the sale, Tronox had filed a motion with an administrative law judge, seeking permission to present the proposed sale as a remedy to address concerns from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the company said.

Tronox asks the court to make a determination within five days as to whether there is a reasonable possibility of a settlement, the company said. The company also wants the court to recommend the FTC accepts the proposed sale as a way to address its concerns about the Cristal acquisition.

Cristal is also known as National Titanium Dioxide, and Tronox announced its $2.4bn bid to buy the company in February 2017.

Tronox has already received approval for the deal from eight other regulators, including the EU.