Tronox acquires Saudi chemical and mining company for $1.7 billion

By Phil Hall

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Tronox Ltd., a Stamford-based company involved in the mining, production and marketing of inorganic minerals and chemicals, has acquired the TiO2business of Cristal, a privately held global chemical and mining company, for $1.673 billion of cash and Class A ordinary shares representing 24 percent ownership in pro forma Tronox.

Tom Casey

Cristal, formally the National Titanium Dioxide Co., is a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s National Industrialization Co., also known by Arabic acronym TASNEE. Tronox stated that its acquisition of Cristal’s TiO2 business will create “the world’s largest and most highly integrated TiO2 pigment producer with assets and operations on six continents.” The company also forecast a 50 percent reduction in its net leverage ratio because the acquisition will not come with a new debt load.

Simultaneous to this acquisition, Tronox announced that it will begin the process to sell off Alkali, its natural soda ash division. Tom Casey, chairman and CEO of Tronox, said the sale of Alkali comes “at an attractive time as the global market for natural soda ash is recovering and prices are improving.”

Tronox expects to close on the Cristal acquisition before the first quarter 2018, while the sale of its Alkali business is expected to close during the second half of this year.

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About the author

Phil Hall
Phil Hall is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News, the author of seven books, the host of the SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News and Wired.

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