Tronox formally applies to complete Cristal buy-out

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 19 Mar 2019

Tronox is to present US authorities with its proposed acquisition of Cristal, after signing a definitive agreement to sell the Saudi Arabian company’s US assets to ease anti-competition objections.

The titanium dioxide producer has confirmed the move in a statement to shareholders in the NYSE-listed entity.

Staff at the Federal Trade Commission joined Tronox in moving to withdraw the case from adjudication and asking the FTC to consider the transaction with the proposed remedy. 

Ineos is to acquire two sites in Ashtabula, Ohio, to maintain competition in the domestic market. 

In addition to the motion, the submission features the proposed orders necessary to authorise the transaction, as executed by the parties concerned.  It would see a sixth name grace the sprawling Stallingborough plant, a key part of the long-chased portfolio, in its 65 year production history. 

Cristal's Stallingborough plant, looking east, with the South Humber Bank, running top left and Hobson Way, top right. 

Jeffry N. Quinn, president and chief executive officer of Tronox, said: “This joint submission with FTC staff represents significant progress toward obtaining clearance from the FTC to proceed with both the consummation of our transaction and the proposed remedy.

“We are hopeful this proposed settlement encompassing a complete structural remedy, the result of months of consultation and collaboration with the FTC staff, will allow the commissioners to approve the transaction. The acquisition of Cristal’s remaining TiO2 business will position us to become a stronger, more resilient, vertically integrated producer, capable of delivering better value to our customers, while fully addressing the FTC’s concerns with the original transaction.”

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The transaction, modified to include the proposed divestiture, has garnered widespread support from Cristal and Tronox’s North American pigment customers, he added.

Closing of the Cristal transaction is conditioned on the issuance of a ‘Decision and Order’ by the FTC.

Tronox is not present in the UK market, and Europe-wide an agreement to sell a Dutch operation has already eased concerns aired by Brussels. 

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