Tronox Relocates, Shareholder Exits
US titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Tronox has announced its intention to re-domicile to the UK from Australia. The company said the move will provide more authority and flexibility to buy back its own shares, eliminate its dual-class share structure and enable it to create an organizational and legal structure that more efficiently manages a global business.
The relocation will be done by creating a new holding company incorporated in the UK called Tronox Holdings. A shareholders meeting to approve the move will be held in the first quarter of 2019.
In addition, major shareholder Exxaro Resources has agreed to sell its remaining 24% stake in Tronox in a “controlled and scheduled manner.” Tronox said it will also accelerate the repurchase of Exxaro’s 26% share in a Tronox UK subsidiary. This subsidiary holds loans that were made to two Tronox subsidiaries in South Africa.
The agreement with Exxaro addresses several legacy issues related to Tronox’s acquisition of the South African company’s mineral sands business in 2012.
Separately, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has extended the deadline for filing its decision on Tronox’s proposed acquisition of Saudi Arabian pigment producer Cristal to Dec. 19.
On Sept. 5, the US District court for the District of Columbia granted a request by the FTC for a preliminary injunction that blocked the merger.
The FTC and Tronox have been embroiled in a legal wrangle over Cristal since the agency first objected to the deal last year on concerns it would reduce competition. The US is the only outstanding approval needed. European regulators gave the green light in August on condition that Tronox sell its paper laminate grade of TiO2 to Huntsman spinoff Venator.