SK Capital Partners has completed the acquisition of a 39.75% stake, roughly 42.4 million shares, in titanium dioxide maker Venator from Huntsman for roughly $100 million. The deal includes a 30-month option for the purchase of Huntsman’s remaining approximate 9.5 million shares by SK at $2.15/share. Huntsman spun off Venator in a 2017 initial public offering.
“We are excited to engage with [SK founder] Barry Siadat and the SK Capital team, who have a strong reputation within the chemical industry for supporting long term growth and innovation,” said Simon Turner, president and CEO of Venator.
“Our business is poised for increased shareholder value creation as demand for our world class functional and specialty products continues to strengthen.” Venator said it remains “well positioned to deliver the full $55 million in EBITDA improvement from our 2020 business improvement program over the next two years. We look forward to implementing additional steps to strengthen our business and further unlock shareholder value.”
SK said in a regulatory filing 23 December that it intends to “engage in discussions with management or the board of directors of [Venator] about its business, operations, strategy, plans, and prospects, from time to time.” Discussions may concern “any extraordinary corporate transaction, a sale or transfer of a material amount of assets, a change in the board of directors or management, a material change in the capitalization, other material changes in the company’s business or corporate structure, or similar actions.”
Huntsman said that the sale will provide cash tax savings of approximately $150 million from the offset of a capital loss on the sale of Venator shares against the capital gain realized on the sale of its chemical intermediates and surfactants businesses in early January. The company said the Venator sale will secure a total related benefit of approximately $250 million in cash this year.
by Robert Westervelt
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