Huntsman Says Pigment Talks Include Creating New Company

Huntsman Corp. (HUN) said talks about consolidating the titanium-dioxide pigment industry include an option to merge assets with a competitor’s and spin off the new company to shareholders.

Huntsman, the fourth-biggest producer of the pigment known by its chemical formula TiO2, said in April that it may divest the unit that makes the commodity or acquire assets. Chief Executive Officer Peter Huntsman said on a conference call today that talks continue.

“When you look at a division that potentially could be combined with somebody else and spun off, that would uniquely fit TiO2 better than perhaps any of our other divisions, given the number of people right now who are looking to sell, merge buy, whatever in that industry,” Huntsman said in a phone interview today.

DuPont Co., the world’s largest producer of TiO2, last week became the fourth company to announce it was considering options for its pigment assets. Rockwood Holdings Inc. (ROC) plans to sell or spin off the unit that makes the commodity used to whiten paints and plastics, while Stamford, Connecticut-based Tronox Ltd. (TROX) said in February it was interested in acquiring TiO2 assets.

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