Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ROC) today announced that its titanium dioxide venture Sachtleben has reached an agreement to acquire the titanium dioxide production assets and inventory of crenox GmbH, based in Krefeld, Germany, from the insolvency administrator. The acquisition is expected to close by mid-July, subject to completion of due diligence, government approvals and other conditions. The terms were not disclosed.
Sachtleben, which is a venture of Rockwood and Kemira Oyj, will acquire the crenox Krefeld-Uerdingen plant and all inventory of the facility. The acquisition will add over 100,000 metric tons of titanium dioxide production, increasing capacity to approximately 340,000 metric tons, further enhancing Sachtleben’s position as a leading global supplier of high quality TiO 2 pigments.
Commenting on the acquisition, Rockwood Chairman and CEO, Seifi Ghasemi, said, “This acquisition significantly enhances the value of our TiO 2 businesses. We have been trying to buy this facility for more than five years as we have always believed it would be a great fit with our TiO 2 business. This 100,000-ton-per-year plant will now enable us to optimize production between three plants, in addition to creating growth opportunities and enhancing our ability to serve customers.”
Vernon S. Sumner, CEO of Sachtleben, added, “For most of 2010 and 2011 we were completely sold out in our titanium dioxide business, with sales limited by our production output. This acquisition provides us with a financially attractive capacity expansion to meet the growing needs of customers in all market segments. The technology, products, customer base and employees of crenox are the ideal supplement to Sachtleben’s portfolio.”The acquisition will strengthen Sachtleben’s position as global leader in sulfate process titanium dioxide, used at both existing Sachtleben facilities (Duisburg, Germany and Pori, Finland) as well as the crenox plant. The sulfate process provides flexibility to manufacture both anatase and rutile crystal forms of TiO 2 targeted to attractive niche market applications such as synthetic fiber production and cosmetics, as well as for higher volume applications in the paints, coatings and plastic markets. This additional capacity better positions Sachtleben to supply customers’ growing needs for specialty grades of titanium dioxide for high performance, high value applications, and more fully participate in the growing global demand for titanium dioxide. In addition, crenox’s strong position in DeNOx catalysts will complement Sachtleben’s leading portfolio of innovative specialty products. The proximity of the crenox plant to Sachtleben’s Duisburg plant will allow for additional synergy potential.