Rockwood Takes Control of Sachtlaben

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On Thursday, specialty chemicals producer Rockwood Holdings (NYSE: ROC.DL  ) announced that it has agreed to buy out partner Kemira Oyj's 39% interest in the companies' Sachtleben titanium dioxide (TiO2) joint venture. Rockwood will pay EUR 97.5 million, or $130 million, to take control of the JV, in a transaction expected to close by February 19, 2013.

Perversely, though, while Rockwood is paying to acquire Sachtleben, it may not really want to own it. In a statement explaining the move, Rockwood Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Seifi Ghasemi noted that "the titanium dioxide business is non-core [and] it is our key objective this year to explore and execute on the best strategic option for Rockwood. Attaining 100% ownership of the joint venture provides us with the flexibility to achieve this goal."

In other words, Rockwood's real motivation in wanting to own all of Sachtleben appears to be ... because it will make it easier to sell all off Sachtleben to somebody else.

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Rich Smith

I love things that go "boom." Sonic or otherwise, that means I tend to gravitate towards defense and aerospace stocks. But to tell the truth, over the course of a dozen years writing for The Motley Fool, I have covered -- and continue to cover -- everything from retailers to consumer goods stocks, and from tech to banks to insurers as well. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace news, and other great stories besides.

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