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Tronox Responds to U.S. District Court's Decision on Proposed Cristal Acquisition.

Tronox Limited, a global mining and inorganic chemicals company, commented on the decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granting the U. S. Federal Trade Commission's request for a preliminary injunction regarding Tronox's proposed acquisition of Cristal. The company intends to promptly file a notice of appeal and request an expedited hearing of its appeal to reverse the Court's decision so Tronox may proceed with the merger. Simultaneous to its pursuit of an appeal, Tronox will be considering whether to proceed with the remedial divestiture of Cristal's Ashtabula, Ohio, two-plant titanium dioxide production complex. As announced on July 16, 2018, Tronox and Venator Materials PLC entered into a binding Memorandum of Understanding providing for the negotiation of a definitive agreement to sell the Ashtabula complex to Venator should a divestiture of Ashtabula be required to consummate the Cristal acquisition. Today's judicial decision was released under seal to provide counsel for Tronox, Cristal and the FTC an opportunity to review the text of the decision to ensure it contained no confidential information.

"Tronox is disappointed by the U.S. District Court's decision to further delay this output-enhancing combination designed to increase the supply of TiO, for North American customers and position Tronox to succeed in a fiercely competitive global market," said Jeffry N. Quinn, president and chief executive officer of Tronox. "As we pursue an appeal, Tronox has valuable alternatives to consider, including a possible remedial transaction to divest the Ashtabula facility for $1.1 billion to Venator or waiting for a decision by the FTC's Administrative Law Judge in the Part 3 Procedure. During the Part 3 Procedure, I believe we convincingly demonstrated that the FTC's objections to the Cristal transaction are entirely misplaced and this highly synergistic transaction will significantly increase production of TiO, to the benefit of customers in North America and around the world. We intend to be as transparent and open as possible and will be forthcoming with our chosen course of action at the appropriate time."

Evonik Expands Hydrophobic Fumed Silica Capacities

Evonik Industries is expanding its capacities for refinement of fumed silica in Rheinfelden, Germany. The group will invest an amount in the low double-digit million euro range to expand its Rheinfelden facility, which further processes hydrophilic silica to a hydrophobic variety. The expansion is scheduled to become operational in late 2020.

Hydrophobic fumed silica, which Evonik markets under the brand name AEROSIL, particularly stands out for its low moisture absorption and excellent dispersibility, according to the company. It is used for rheology control and as an anti-settling agent in coating systems, adhesive and sealant materials and as a thickener and anti-caking agent, e.g. in silicone rubber, toners and cosmetics.

"Rheinfelden is the parent plant for our hydrophobic fumed silicas. We decided in favor of expanding the site because the investment will help us make even better use of existing facilities. In addition, the local process know-how and specific long-term experience with the construction and operation of the plants were essential considerations for us," said Andreas Fischer, head of the Silica Business Line.

The investment will expand the company's annual capacity for hydrophilic fumed silica at the existing Rheinfelden site by 20 percent to meet heavy market demand.
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Title Annotation:As We Go To Press
Publication:Coatings World
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:Oct 1, 2018
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