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Latest sale for Rockwood: Chemical company raises $1.1B in unloading specialty businesses

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Rockwood Holdings, the largest producer of lithium products in the world, has struck a deal to sell its performance additives and titanium dioxide businesses for $1.1 billion.

The Princeton-based company is selling the businesses to Huntsman Corp., a global chemical manufacturer based in Texas. In addition to paying the $1.1 billion purchase price, Huntsman will assume unfunded pension liabilities estimated at $225 million, the company announced Tuesday.

Rockwood's performance additives and titanium dioxide businesses manufacture products that can be used in construction, concrete, plastics, papers, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, fibers, coatings and inks. Peter Huntsman, Huntsman's president and CEO, said the acquisition will help the company grow its pigments business, with the goal of pursuing a public offering for that arm of the company in the next two years.

"With this combination, we will be better positioned to serve customers through a broader product range," Huntsman said in a statement.

Rockwood has completed several massive transactions recently. Earlier this month, the company sold its CeramTec business unit to a European private equity firm for €1.49 billion ($1.96 billion). And in July, it sold its clay additives unit to a specialty chemical company in Germany for $635 million.

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson is a staff reporter covering midsized and growth companies, as well as women in business. Mary lived in Fla., Texas, Conn. and N.Y. before moving to N.J. with her husband and infant son. Email her at maryj@njbiz.com. She is @mjohns422 on Twitter. Read her blog, Breaking Glass.

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