According to a press release Tronox Limited announced a definitive agreement to acquire the TiO2 business 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.Â Concurrently with this announcement, the company announced its intent to begin a process to sell its Alkali business. Â This includes Tronox plant west of Green River, WY, according to local officials. Â The cash portion of the purchase consideration is expected to be funded through proceeds from the sale of assets, including the sale of Alkali and selected other non-core assets if appropriate, and cash on hand.
“We are pleased to announce the highly synergistic combination of the TiO2 businesses of Tronox and Cristal that will bring significant value to our shareholders, our customers and our employees,” said Tom Casey, Tronox Chairman and CEO. Â “Our intent to sell Alkali comes at an attractive time as the global market for natural soda ash is recovering and prices are improving.Â Alkali has continually sold every ton of product it produces.Â The caliber of the Alkali workforce and their commitment to safe, high-quality production are unmatched in the natural soda ash industry.Â I thank the leadership team and all Alkali employees for their contributions to Tronox,” added Casey.
The acquisition has received the unanimous approval of the Tronox and Cristal boards of directors.Â The transaction is subject to the approval by Tronox Class A and B shareholders, voting as a single class, as well as regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.Â Closing is expected to occur before the first quarter 2018. Â Â Tronox anticipates completing the sale of its Alkali business in the second half of 2017.
Tom Casey will remain chairman and chief executive officer of the company.Â The size of the company’s board of directors will remain unchanged at nine members.Â Cristal’s owners will receive two of the nine existing Board seats.Â Exxaro Mineral Resources will remain on the Board with its three seats.Â The company’s corporate offices will remain in Stamford, Conn., and it will continue as a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and remain incorporated in the state of Western Australia, Australia.
Tronox LimitedÂ is a global leader in the mining, production and marketing of inorganic minerals and chemicals. The company’s TiO2 business operates four chemical manufacturing plants in three countries, and operates mines in South Africa and Australia.Â Tronox Alkali operates two trona ore mines and seven inorganic chemical manufacturing sites in the United States.