$1.6bn deal helps Tronox strengthen its inorganics portfolio as FMC shifts towards agrochemicals

US Chemicals maker Tronox has agreed to buy FMC’s alkali chemicals division, which makes soda ash and related products used in the glass manufacturing, chemical processing and pharmaceutical industries, for $1.6 billion (£1 billion). The deal helps Tronox – which produces mineral sands, titanium dioxide pigments and electrolytic products – strengthen its portfolio of inorganics. The alkali chemicals segment will operate as a separate business unit.

This is the latest in a string of deals for FMC, which suggest the company is moving out of inorganics and building its presence in agrochemicals and crop protection. Earlier this month, FMC acquired global rights to a herbicide that controls broadleaf weeds from Japanese companies Kumiai Chemical and Ihara Chemical. In September, the company agreed to acquire Danish crop protection company Cheminova, and in August agreed with US firm Actagro to exclusively market and distribute the company’s organic acid based soil and plant health nutritional products in the Asia-Pacific region.