Lyondell Selling Inorganic Chemicals Business To National Titanium Dioxide

Lyondell Chemical has announced the sale of its inorganic chemicals business to National Titanium Dioxide Company.

Lyondell Chemical announced Monday it plans to sell its worldwide inorganic chemicals business to National Titanium Dioxide Co. (Cristal) for approximately $1.2 billion, including the assumption of certain liabilities directly related to the business.

Cristal is a global producer of titanium dioxide exporting to more than 70 countries.

"This transaction would allow us to accelerate our debt repayment and focus our resources on capturing the synergies between our refinery and our chemicals business to achieve the greatest value for our shareholders," said Dan F. Smith, president and CEO of Lyondell.

Lyondell's Millennium Inorganic Chemicals subsidiary is the world's second-largest producer of titanium dioxide, a white pigment commonly used in such consumer products as paint, toothpaste and sun block.

Privately held National Titanium Dioxide Company Ltd. noted that it intends to continue operating the assets it will acquire from Lyondell.

"The acquisition of Millennium Inorganic Chemicals is an exciting component of our continued growth story and increases our global presence as we'll gain facilities in Europe and Australia as well as North and South America," said Dr. Talal Al-Shair, Chairman and CEO of Cristal. “We have been impressed with the high quality of the employees, products and R&D." Approximately 2,900 employees are affiliated with the inorganic chemicals business.

Closing is anticipated to occur in the first half of 2007.

Lyondell, headquartered in Houston, is a global manufacturer of chemicals and plastics, a refiner of heavy, high-sulfur crude oil and a producer of fuel products. Lyondell operates on five continents and employs nearly 11,000 people worldwide.

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