Shares of Tronox Ltd. (TROX) are up $1.97 since the company's board elected Ilan Kaufthal to serve as non-executive chairman on June 27.
Kaufthal replaces former Chairman and CEO Thomas Casey, who died May 26, only 11 days after retiring from the chief executive spot. He had remained chairman until his death.
Kaufthal's election to chairman comes as a delicate time for Tronox. The company is undergoing antitrust scrutiny for its $1.67 billion agreement to acquire Cristal Chemicals' titanium dioxide (TiO2) assets, a deal that would create the largest maker of the widely-used white powder used in industrial coatings and paint and food pigments.
The board also appointed Timothy C. Carlson, senior vice president and chief financial officer, to fill the board seat held by Casey. Carlson is expected to step down as a director upon the closing of the acquisition of Cristal's TiO2 business, when Cristal will be entitled to nominate two Class A directors.
On Wednesday, July 5 Tronox shares rose 24 cents, or 1.57%, to $15.49.
Korn Ferry has been retained to conduct the search for a permanent chief executive and will consider internal and external candidates.
On June 27, 2017, the board formed a special ad-hoc succession committee to oversee the search process. Kaufthal is serving as chairman of the committee.
"We will benefit immensely from Ilan's significant M&A experience and leadership skills as we work to complete our pending acquisition of Cristal's TiO2business and the process of selling our Alkali business," said Peter Johnston, CEO of Tronox.