Profile: Valhi Inc (VHI.N)
11 Mar 2014
Valhi, Inc. is a holding company. It operates in three segments: Chemicals, Component Products and Waste Management. The Company’s chemicals segment is operated through Kronos Worldwide, Inc., which is a global producer and marketer of titanium dioxide pigment (TiO2). The Company operates in the component products industry through its majority control of CompX International Inc. Waste Control Specialists LLC is the Company’s subsidiary, which operates a West Texas facility for the processing, treatment, storage and disposal of a range of low-level radioactive, hazardous, toxic and other wastes. The Company operates through its wholly owned and majority owned subsidiaries, including NL Industries, Inc., Kronos Worldwide, Inc., CompX International Inc. and Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS). In July of 2011, CompX International Inc. acquired 100% of the stock of a Canadian ergonomic component products company.
Chemicals Segment - Kronos Worldwide, Inc.
Kronos Worldwide, Inc. produces TiO2, which is a base industrial product used in a range of customer applications and end-use markets, including coatings, plastics, paper, food, cosmetics, inks, textile fibers, rubber, pharmaceuticals, glass, ceramics and other industrial and consumer markets. Kronos Worldwide, Inc., along with its distributors and agents, sells and provides technical services for its products to over 4,000 customers in approximately 100 countries with the majority of sales in Europe and North America. TiO2 is a white inorganic pigment used in a range of products. Pigment extenders, such as kaolin clays, calcium carbonate and polymeric opacifiers, are used together with TiO2 in a number of end-use markets.
The Company offers its customers a portfolio of products that include over 40 different TiO2 pigment grades under the Kronos trademark. Its major customers include domestic and international paint, plastics, decorative laminate and paper manufacturers. The Company ships TiO2 to its customers in either a powder or slurry form via rail, truck or ocean carrier. The Company and its agents and distributors primarily sell and provide technical services for its products in three major end-use markets: coatings, plastics and paper. TiO2 is used in masterbatch, which is a concentrate of TiO2 and other additives. In masterbatch, the TiO2 is dispersed at high concentrations into a plastic resin and is then used by manufacturers of plastic containers, bottles, packaging and agricultural films.
The Company’s TiO2 is used in the production of several types of paper, including laminate (decorative) paper, filled paper and coated paper to provide whiteness, brightness, opacity and color stability. Although it sells its TiO2 to all segments of the paper end-use market, its primary focus is on the TiO2 grades used in paper laminates. Paper laminates are used to replace materials, such as wood and tile for such applications as counter tops, furniture and wallboard. The Company’s TiO2 is also used in textile applications. It produces sulfate process anatase TiO2, which is used in a range of cosmetic and personal care products, such as skin cream, lipstick, eye shadow and toothpaste. The Company’s TiO2 is also found in food products, such as candy and confectionaries, and in pet foods. In pharmaceuticals, its TiO2 is used as a colorant in pill and capsule coatings, as well as in liquid medicines to provide uniformity of color and appearance.
The Company owns and operates two ilmenite mines in Norway. Ilmenite is a raw material used directly as a feedstock by some sulfate-process TiO2 plants. It also sells ilmenite ore to third-parties. The Company manufactures and sells iron-based chemicals, which are co-products and processed co-products of the sulfate and chloride process TiO2 pigment production. These co-product chemicals are marketed through its Ecochem division and are primarily used as treatment and conditioning agents for industrial effluents and municipal wastewater, as well as in the manufacture of iron pigments, cement and agricultural products. It manufactures and sells titanium oxychloride and titanyl sulfate, which are side-stream specialty products from the production of TiO2. Titanium oxychloride is used in specialty applications in the formulation of pearlescent pigments, production of electroceramic capacitors for cell phones and other electronic devices. Titanyl sulfate productions are used in pearlescent pigments, natural gas pipe and other specialty applications.
The Company produces TiO2 in two crystalline forms: rutile and anatase. It operates four TiO2 plants in Europe (one in each of Leverkusen, Germany; Nordenham, Germany; Langerbrugge, Belgium; and Fredrikstad, Norway). In North America, it has a TiO2 plant in Varennes, Quebec, Canada and, through the manufacturing joint venture TiO2 Manufacturing Joint Venture, a 50% interest in a TiO2 plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Kronos Louisiana, Inc., which is its subsidiaries, and a subsidiary of Huntsman Corporation each own a 50% interest in a manufacturing joint venture, Louisiana Pigment Company, L.P. (LPC). LPC owns and operates a chloride-process TiO2 plant located in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Component Products Segment - Compx International Inc.
CompX International Inc. is a manufacturer of engineered components utilized in a range of applications and industries. CompX International Inc. manufactures engineered components that are sold to a range of industries, including office furniture, recreational transportation (including boats), mailboxes, toolboxes, home appliances, banking equipment, vending equipment and computer related equipment. CompX International Inc. is a manufacturer of security products, ball bearing slides and ergonomic computer support systems. It is also a manufacturer of stainless steel exhaust systems, gauges, and throttle controls for the marine industry. CompX International Inc. has production facilities in North America and Asia.
Component Products Segment has a security products reporting unit, with one manufacturing facility in South Carolina and one in Illinois shared with its marine components reporting unit. The security products reporting unit manufactures mechanical and electronic cabinet locks and other locking mechanisms used in a range of applications, including ignition systems, mailboxes, file cabinets, desk drawers, tool storage cabinets, vending and gaming machines, high security medical cabinetry, electrical circuit panels, storage compartments, gas station security. The Company manufactures and sells cabinet locks and other locking mechanisms in the North American market. These products include disc tumbler locks, pin tumbler locking mechanisms, including KeSet and System 64 and TuBar, and eLock and Stealthlock electronic locks.
The Company has a product line suitable for many customers, which is offered through a North American distribution network to lock distributors and smaller original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) via its STOCK LOCKS distribution program. Its Component Products Segment’s furniture components reporting unit, with facilities in Canada and Taiwan, manufactures a complete line of ball bearing slides and computer keyboard, monitor and computer processing unit (CPU) support systems for use in applications, such as file cabinets, desks, computer server racks, wall mounted computer applications, home appliances, tool storage cabinets, imaging equipment, automated teller machines and other applications. These products are manufactured to customer specifications and include its Integrated Slide Lock, adjustable Ball Lock, Self-Closing Slide, articulating computer keyboard support arms, LeverLock keyboard arm, CPU storage devices, flat panel computer monitor support systems and keyboard, monitor and CPU wall mounts.
The Company’s Component Products Segment also has a marine components reporting unit, with a facility in Wisconsin and a facility shared with its security products in Illinois. The marine components reporting unit manufactures and distributes stainless steel exhaust components, gauges, throttle controls, hardware and accessories. Its specialty marine component products are high precision components. These products include original equipment and aftermarket stainless steel exhaust headers, exhaust pipes, mufflers and other exhaust components; high performance gauges, such as global positioning system (GPS) speedometers and tachometers; controls, throttles, steering wheels and other billet aluminum accessories, and dash panels, light emitting diode (LED) lighting, rigging and other accessories. The Company’s Component Products Segment operated five manufacturing facilities. Its Component Products Segment has substantial operations and assets located outside the United States, principally furniture component operations in Canada and Taiwan.
Waste Management Segment - Waste Control Specialists LLC
The Company’s Waste Management Segment operates its waste management facility on a relatively limited basis. Construction of the Compact LLRW disposal facility was substantially complete, in November 2011. In February 2012, the Federal LLRW site was substantially complete. The Company’s Waste Management Segment operates one waste management facility located on a 1,338-acre site in West Texas. The facility is permitted for 6.5 million cubic yards of airspace landfill capacity for the disposal of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (15 USC) (TSCA), Byproduct and low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) and mixed LLRW wastes. It also owns approximately 13,500 acres of additional land surrounding the permitted site, a small portion of which is located in New Mexico.
The waste management facility operates under various licenses and permits, including LLRW Disposal, LLRW Treatment/Storage, Byproduct Disposal and RCRA/TSCA/Exempt. The Company’s LLRW Treatment/Storage facility also serves as a staging and processing location for material that requires other forms of treatment prior to final disposal. Its 20,000 square foot treatment facility provides for waste treatment/stabilization, warehouse storage and treatment facilities for hazardous, toxic and mixed LLRW, drum to bulk, and bulk to drum materials handling and repackaging capabilities. Chemical treatment uses chemical oxidation and reduction, chemical precipitation of heavy metals, hydrolysis and neutralization of acid and alkaline wastes, and results in the transformation of waste into inert materials through one or more of these chemical processes.
The Company competes with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. (Dupont), National Titanium Dioxide Company Ltd., Huntsman Corporation, Tronox Incorporated, Exxaro Mineral Sands and Sachtleben Chemie GmbH, Energy Solutions, Inc., US Ecology Inc. and Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc.
Suite 1700, 5430 LBJ Freeway
DALLAS TX 75240-2697