UPDATE 1-Lyondell to sell unit to Saudi firm for $1.2 bln
Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:26am ET
RIYADH, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Lyondell Chemical Co. has agreed to sell its titanium dioxide pigment business to an affiliate of Saudi Arabia's National Industrialisation Co. <2060.SE> for $1.2 billion, the Saudi firm said on Monday.
The Houston-based company said last month it was nearing a decision on whether to proceed with the sale of its pigment business.
The operations consist of eight factories in Europe, Australia and the Americas, National Industrialisation said in a statement on Saudi stock market Web site.
National Industrialisation owns 66 percent of the buyer, National Titanium Dioxide Co., also known as Cristal.
Cristal will borrow about two thirds of the acquisition cost and raise the rest from its owners, the statement said.
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is a shareholder of National Industrialisation. Last month the prince said he had raised his stake in the company from 10 percent, without saying how much he had bought.
Lyondell's chief financial officer, Kevin DeNicola, said last month the company had received offers from between five and 10 buyers for the pigment unit.
Cristal already produces around 102,000 tonnes a year of titanium dioxide white pigment, which is used in plastics, paints inks and paper, according to National Industrialisation's Web site.
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