CNNC TD to invest more than RMB200M in rival TiO2 producer

12 August 2015

The M&A race in China’s titanium dioxide industry appears to be heating up despite the recent turbulence in China’s stock market as leading producer CNNC TD announced on July 14 that it was negotiating a deal worth more than RMB200M (US$32.7M). CNNC TD first gave an indication that it was planning a deal on July 7, when it announced a trading halt on its stocks, citing plans for a major activity. All four of China’s listed TiO2 companies are now under trading halts. On July 14, the company applied to extend its trading halt on the grounds that its negotiations were ongoing and the outcome remained uncertain. It also specified that the deal was related to investing more than RMB200M in China’s TiO2 industry.
In April, CNNC TD was rumoured to be considering a deal with Shandong Doguide Group but CCM has heard from several sources that the company’s target is now Shandong Dawn.
Shandong Dawn is a major TiO2 producer in China and claims to have assets worth up to RMB2bn. Though this figure may in reality be lower, CNNC TD is highly unlikely to gain a controlling interest in Shandong Dawn for RMB200 and a deal for a 10-20% stake in the company would be more realistic at this price.
Yang Xun, Senior Analyst at SunSirs, commented: "This kind of deal [acquiring a smaller stake in the company] would be a win-win for both parties because CNNC TD can gain shares and the target company can raise capital.”
Shandong Dawn also possesses a number of qualities that would make it a useful investment for CNNC TD. The company is one of China’s leading exporters of TiO2 thanks to the high quality of its products compared to its rivals and its location in the coastal city of Yantai in Shandong Province. It also enjoys a good reputation for quality in the domestic market.
Some have speculated that CNNC TD may be using this possible merger to announce a trading halt and avoid the fallout from the ongoing problems in China’s stock market but Dean Wu, Editor of CCM’s TiO2 E-Journal, reasons that this is unlikely.
If the deal is confirmed, it will be the second major deal involving a listed Chinese TiO2 company in as many months after Henan Billions finalised its merger with Lomon on June 5. Jilin Gpro is also strongly rumoured to be in the process of acquiring Jiangsu Zhentai but no further details on this deal have been announced so far.

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