* Sees adjusted EBITDA at $50-$60 mln in second half of 2013
* Rockwood CEO says not in a hurry to sell titanium dioxide
* Second-quarter adjusted profit $0.73 vs est $0.76
* Revenue up 7 pct
By Garima Goel
Aug 5 U.S. chemical maker Rockwood Holdings Inc
hopes to turn around the paint pigments business it has
been trying to sell for a year as it expects raw material costs
Weak prices due to oversupply and rising costs of titanium
ore, the key ingredient used for making pigments, have hit
margins at the business.
"... The business is going to come back and there is no
reason to be in a great rush to do anything," Chief Executive
Seifi Ghasemi said, but added that the company was committed to
selling the business.
Weak earnings at the unit have weighed on Rockwood's profits
in recent quarters. Other chemical makers such as DuPont,
Huntsman Corp and Tronox Ltd are also
considering options for their pigments business.
Rockwood expects the unit to have adjusted earnings of $50
million-$60 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization in the second half of the year. The company lost
$900,000 in the first half, based on the same measure.
"We do believe that we are seeing a turnaround in our
titanium dioxide cycle, and we expect the performance of this
business to improve further in 2014," Ghasemi said on a call
Princeton, New Jersey-based Rockwood, is narrowing its focus
to lithium production as demand for rechargeable batteries in
laptops, mobile phones and automobiles grows, in keeping with an
industry-wide shift away from businesses exposed to swings in
The company, which describes its lithium and surface
treatment chemicals businesses as its core, recently agreed to
sell its industrial ceramics unit for $1.99 billion and
clay-based additives business for $635 million.
Dow Chemical Co, the largest U.S. chemical maker by
sales, said last month that it was considering selling its
paint, construction and chlorine businesses.
DuPont, similarly, is planning to exit the paint pigment
business to focus on its agriculture unit.
Huntsman Corp, on the other hand, has said it could either
sell its existing titanium business or add to it. It is a
prospective buyer of Rockwood's titanium pigments business,
Reuters reported in July, citing sources.
Rockwood had earlier bundled the pigments business with its
performance additives for a sale, but failed to attract the kind
of offers it was hoping for.
The business continued to weigh on Rockwood's second-quarter
Excluding charges related to the sale of non-core assets,
Rockwood earned 73 cents per share in the second quarter,
missing the average analyst estimate of 76 cents.
Revenue rose about 7 percent to $972.3 million. Analysts had
expected revenue of $955.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters
Shares of the company, which has a market value of about
$5.30 billion, were down 0.5 percent at $67.92 on the New York