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Huntsman to buy Rockwood businesses for $1.1 billion

Chemical maker Huntsman Corp. will pay $1.1 billion in cash to buy two businesses from Rockwood Holdings that it said will make its pigments business more competitive.

Huntsman said Tuesday it also will assume $225 million in unfunded pension liabilities as part of the acquisition of performance additives and titanium dioxide businesses from Rockwood Holdings.

Texas-based Huntsman said it expects the deal to add about 60 cents per share to its annual earnings. It also said the purchase will give it a broader product range that includes color pigments, functional additives and specialty titanium dioxide pigments.

(Read more: M&A set to surge following Vodafone's bumper deal)

Products from the Rockwood businesses are used in construction, plastics, inks, food and cosmetics among other areas.

The companies expect the deal to close in the first half of next year. Huntsman plans to pursue a public offering of the newly combined pigments business within two years of the deal's completion.

Huntsman's companies make products for industries including plastics, automotive, construction, technology and packaging. Rockwood Holdings, based in Princeton, N.J., makes specialty chemicals and advanced materials for customers including the auto, electronics and construction industries.

(Read more: Cramer Makes the Case for M&A)

Shares of Huntsman closed at $19.14 on Monday and have climbed about 20 percent so far this year. Rockwood's stock closed at $66.61 and has jumped about 35 percent in 2013.

By Reuters

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