Orica, Littlejohn Are Among Bidders for Chemours Mining Arm

Australian explosives maker Orica Ltd., private equity firms Littlejohn & Co. and One Rock Capital are among groups that have submitted bids for the potential sale of Chemours Co.’s mining solutions business, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. chemicals company has received indicative offers for the asset, which could be valued at more than $600 million in a sale, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing confidential information. Binding bids for the unit could come as soon as next month, one of the people said.

Deliberations are at an early stage and the companies could decide not to proceed with bids, the people said.

Orica is not in a position to speak about specific deals, a representative said in response to a request for comment. The company is always looking for opportunities to deliver value, they said. A representative for Chemours said they are continuing with the strategic review confidentially and cannot comment on any specifics relative to the activity. A representative for One Rock declined to comment, while a representative for Littlejohn did not respond to requests seeking comment.

A sale would come as precious metal prices have benefited from concerns over rising inflation, fueling predictions that cash-rich producers could kick off a round of mergers and acquisitions.

Chemours said in March it would carry out a strategic review of the mining solutions business, which is one of the largest North American producers of solid sodium cyanide, used in extracting gold and silver from ores. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company hired Gordon Dyal & Co. Advisory Group to assist with the review, according to the statement. The mining solutions unit reported $203 million net sales in 2020, a 24% decrease from the previous year, according to its annual report.

For Orica, a deal would mark the first major strategic move by Chief Executive Officer Sanjeev Gandhi since his appointment in April. The company’s sodium cyanide unit has a facility in Queensland, Australia and distribution centers in Africa and Latin America, according to its website.

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