BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. chemical company Tronox (TROX.N) is set to secure EU approval to buy Saudi Arabian peer Cristal’s titanium dioxide business on condition it sells assets to address competition concerns, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Tronox offered concessions last month without providing details after the European Commission lay out its concerns about the deal in March, which would create the world’s biggest supplier of titanium dioxide.
The EU antitrust enforcer opened an investigation in December last year, warning that the deal could reduce competition and lead to price hikes in titanium dioxide pigments which are used in products such as paper, plastics and paint.
The Commission, which is scheduled to rule on the case by July 12, declined to comment while Tronox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jeddah-headquartered chemical and mining company Cristal is 79 percent owned by Saudi petrochemical company Tasnee 2060.SE and 20 percent by the Gulf Investment Corporation. The deal is valued at $1.673 billion in cash and 37.6 million of newly issued class A shares in Tronox.
The companies compete with the Chemours Company (CC.N).
U.S. regulators have challenged the deal, which has already won the green light in Australia, China, Colombia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Louise Heavens