Tronox finally acquires Cristal titanium dioxide business

April 11, 2019

STAMFORD — Chemicals and minerals maker Tronox announced late Wednesday it had completeted the $1.7 billion acquisition of the titanium dioxide business of Saudi Arabian firm Cristal, ending a two-year battle to clinch the deal.

The Federal Trade Commission last year sued to block the purchase, which was first proposed in February 2017, arguing it would reduce competition in the market for titanium dioxide, a bright-white substance used as a colorant in many consumer and industrial products. But Tronox said it finally gained the agency’s approval to create the world’s “largest vertically integrated titanium dioxide producer” by agreeing to the $700 million sale of Cristal’s North American titanium dioxide business — which is based at a plant in Ashtabula, Ohio — to British chemicals firm INEOS Enterprises.

“I am pleased this transformative acquisition has finally been completed, and I greatly admire the resiliency both organizations have shown throughout this process,” Tronox CEO and Chairman Jeffry Quinn said in a statement. “I also appreciate the professionalism and collaborative mindset applied by the FTC Bureau of Competition and the staff of the FTC in working with Tronox, Cristal and INEOS to reach this resolution. We look forward to getting to the business of creating value for our shareholders, serving the needs of our global customers and creating opportunities for our employees.”

A message left Thursday for the FTC was not immediately returned.