Rockwood Holdings Inc of Princeton, NJ has entered into an agreement to purchase Kemira Oyjs 39% interest in Sachtleben for €97.5 million (US$129.6 million). The transaction gives Rockwood 100% ownership of the titanium dioxide producer, previously a joint venture with Kemira. Over the past six years, Rockwood has been studying strategic options for the business that include an outright sale or an IPO. Seifi Ghasemi, Rockwoods CEO, said, Given out 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. Attaining 100% ownership of the joint venture provides us with the flexibility to achieve this goal in the time frame and manner most optimal for maximizing shareholder value. Rockwood has stated that its two core businesses are lithium and surface treatment. The company’s other businesses are titanium dioxide, performance additives, and advanced ceramics. For 2012, Rockwood reported a net income of US$383.5 million on net sales of US$3.5 billion versus US$291.1 million on sales of US$3.7 billion in 2011. The titanium dioxide business contributed net sales of US$889.4 million down from US$930.4 million. Rockwoods Lithium business generated EBITDA of US$181.9 million on net sales of US$474.4 million in 2012 compared with US$170.2 million on sales of US$456.5 million in 2011. The increase in sales reflected higher volumes for both lithium carbonate used in battery applications and lithium specialties, and increased selling prices. Rockwoods Surface Treatment business generated EBITDA of US$155.2 million on net sales of US$723.2 million in 2012 versus US$151.0 million on sales of US$743.2 million in 2011. The company’s Performance Additives business contributed EBITDA of US$124.0 million on net sales of US$731.5 million down from US$144.0 million on sales of US$784.4 million in 2011. The sales decline is attributed to lower North American oil and natural gas drilling volumes and lower coatings and construction volumes in Europe. Rockwoods Advanced Ceramics business (CeramTec) contributed 2012 EBITDA of US$174.8 million on net sales of US$546.7 million compared with US$183.7 million on net sales of US$585.1 million in 2011.
Volume 27 issue 4