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Tronox to sell Alkali chemicals business for US$1.33B cash

Tronox Ltd. signed a definitive agreement to sell its Alkali Chemicals business to Genesis Energy LP for US$1.33 billion in cash.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of this year.

The sale proceeds will be used to fund the majority of the cash part of Tronox's US$1.67 billion acquisition of a privately held titanium dioxide business. This deal is expected to close by the first quarter of 2018.

In addition, Tronox plans to refinance a portion of its capital structure to lower overall cost of debt and will improve its mix of secured and unsecured debt and achieve more favorable covenants.

The company also expects that the new debt will provide additional pay-down flexibility, as the combination of Tronox's and Cristal's titanium dioxide businesses is expected to generate substantial additional free cash flow.

The refinancing is expected to be completed by mid-October.

According preliminary estimates, Tronox's revenue increased 16% year over year to US$622 million in the second quarter as adjusted EBITDA jumped 97% to US$140 million.

The company will report full second-quarter earnings Aug. 8.