Judge blocks Tronox-Cristal tie-up
Published: Monday, 22 October 2018
A US court has stalled the takeover to give the FTC time to complete its own review of the deal.
A US court has issued a preliminary injunction, stalling
Tronox’s takeover of rival titanium dioxide
The injunction was requested by the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC), which has opposed the deal due to fears it will decrease
competition in the titanium dioxide market, specifically in the
market for high-grade chloride-route pigment, leading to higher
prices for consumers.
The planned takeover comes at a time when titanium dioxide
pigment prices are rising due to reduced Chinese output and
increased global demand. Fastmarkets IM assessed titanium
dioxide pigment prices, bulk volume, cif United States, at
$3,100-3,400 per tonne on September 20, its highest in at least
two years, and up by 7% year on year.
The injunction will prevent Tronox from completing the $2.4
billion tie-up before a decision has been reached by the
FTC’s in-house administrative process.
Tronox says it intends to appeal this decision, but is also
considering proceeding with the divestment of
Cristal’s Ashtabula plant in Ohio, to Venator,
Tronox’s attempt to reduce its share in the US
titanium dioxide market.