Kemira pulls out of the titanium dioxide joint venture Sachtleben to focus on water intensive industries.
Rockwood Holdings will acquire Kemira’s 39% interest in the German titanium dioxide (TiO2) joint venture Sachtleben to become the sole owner of the company. According to Rockwood and Kemira, a corresponding agreement has already been signed and the transaction is expected to close no later than 19 February 2013. The purchase prices amounts to €97.5m.
Sachtleben joint venture was established in September 2008 through the combination of Kemira’s and Rockwood’s TiO2 businesses. In July 2012, Sachtleben expanded its production capacities by acquiring production assets from the insolvent German TiO2 manufacturer Crenox, a former Tronox group company. Sachtleben is said to be a leading producer of specialty TiO2, running three plants and offering a total capacity of 340,000 tpy of anatase and rutile grades and titanium specialties.
Kemira’s President and CEO, Wolfgang Büchele said he was happy to be able to sell the non-core TiO2 business. The divestment was another milestone in implementing Kemira’s water strategy: it released management capacity and financial resources to fully focus on growth as well as on restructuring measures, Büchele explained in a press release on 14 February.
As far as regards Rockwood, the company still needs some time to work out the right strategy for its Sachtleben titanium dioxide business in order to maximize shareholder value. “Given our prior statements that the titanium dioxide business is non-core, it is our key objective this year to explore and execute on the best strategic option for Rockwood,” said Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman and CEO of Rockwood. “Attaining the 100% ownership of the joint venture provides us with the flexibility to achieve this goal,” he added.
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