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Statement of Preliminary Issues released for Tronox/Cristal merger

7 July 2017

The Commerce Commission has published a Statement of Preliminary Issues relating to Tronox Limited’s proposed acquisition of National Titanium Dioxide Company Ltd (Cristal).

The statement outlines the key competition issues that the Commission considers important in deciding whether or not to grant clearance to the proposed merger. A copy can be found on the Commission’s Clearances Register.

The Commission invites interested parties to provide comments on the likely competitive effects of Tronox’s proposed acquisition of Cristal. Submissions can be sent by email to registrar@comcom.govt.nz with the reference “Tronox/Cristal” in the subject line. Any submissions should be received by close of business on 21 July 2017.

The Commission has also updated its Clearances Register to reflect the indicative timeframe for its decision on the proposed merger. We have agreed with Tronox that we will make a decision by 21 August 2017. However, this date may change as our investigation progresses. In particular, if we need to test and consider the issues identified above further, the decision date is likely to extend.

Background

Tronox is a public limited company incorporated in Australia and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Tronox is an international chemical company active in mining, production and marketing of inorganic minerals and chemicals. It is seeking clearance to acquire the titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment business of Cristal.

When considering a proposed merger, the Commission must determine whether the competition that would be lost with the merger would be substantial.

We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

A fact sheet explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on the clearances page.