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.
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.