Double trouble for Tronox
TiO2 producer Tronox is facing a Phase 2 investigation from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into its proposed acquisition of the TiZir titanium and iron business from French mining and metallurgy group Eramet. The company said that it may offer unspecified ‘remedies’ before this goes ahead.
The $300 million deal was announced in May and was seen as an important addition in terms of lowering feedstock costs. TirZir upgrades ilmenite to high-grade titanium slag, as well as high-purity pig iron. However, both the CMA and the US Federal Trade Commission launched investigations into it.
Separately, Tronox CEO Jeffry N. Quinn (pictured above) has had to take a leave of while the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) investigates allegations of COO Jean-François Turgeon and its chief commercial and strategy officer John D. Romano will act as interim co-CEOs in his absence.
According to a complaint filed by the SEC in a court in New York, Quinn and his fiancée leaked information to a friend about a possible takeover of Ferro by Apollo Global Management and CVC Capital before it was publicly known. This man then allegedly bought share in the company and transferred them via an entity in the British Virgin Islands to an account owned by Quinn.