Huntsman offers more EU concessions over $1.1 billion Rockwood deal

BRUSSELS Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:46am EDT

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. chemical maker Huntsman Corp (HUN.N) has offered more concessions in an attempt to secure European Union antitrust approval for its proposed $1.1 billion purchase of Rockwood Holdings Inc's titanium dioxide pigment business (ROC.N).

The deal will make Huntsman the largest processor of sulfate ores, a key raw material which is also a cheaper alternative to chloride ores, and the number two player in titanium dioxide, behind DuPont (DD.N).

This is the third set of concessions from Huntsman, following earlier proposals submitted to the European Commission in March and earlier this month, the EU competition authority's website showed on Wednesday.

The Commission did not provide details in line with its policy. It is scheduled to decide by Sept. 18 whether to clear or block the deal.

A person familiar with the matter said Huntsman's earlier concessions included an offer to divest units and the latest proposal could include more asset sales.

The Commission opened a broad investigation in March, concerned that the deal may result in higher prices in sulphate-based titanium dioxide, a pigment used as a whitener in products from toothpaste to cars.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by David Evans)

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