UPDATE 1-Tronox to buy FMC's soda ash unit for $1.64 bln

miércoles 4 de febrero de 2015 00:17 GYT

(Adds details, financial advisers, background)

Feb 3 (Reuters) - Diversified chemicals maker Tronox Ltd said it would acquire FMC Corp's Alkali Chemicals division for $1.64 billion to expand in faster-growing developing economies.

The Alkali Chemicals division is a global producer of natural soda ash and related products used in the glass, chemical processing and detergent industries.

Tronox will fund the transaction through cash on hand and new debt pursuant to signed commitments from multiple banks, the company said.

Tronox said all of Alkali Chemicals' revenue is booked in the United States, enabling the company to utilize its U.S. tax attributes to offset Alkali Chemicals' pretax income.

Tronox appears to have prevailed in the auction for the FMC unit over other chemical companies and private-equity firms, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. (on.wsj.com/1EC2cDH)

The deal is expected to add more than 50 cents per share to Tronox' earnings in the 12 months following closing, said Tronox, which mines and processes titanium ore, zircon and other minerals, and makes titanium dioxide pigments.

Alkali Chemicals will operate as a separate business unit and reporting segment within Tronox. It would have contributed about $800 million of revenue for full year 2014, Tronox said.

FMC, a Philadelphia-based chemical maker, revealed its intention to sell the alkali chemicals business on Sept. 8, when it said it would acquire Cheminova A/S, a unit of Auriga Industries A/S for $1.8 billion.   Continuación...