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U.S. court blocks Tronox's acquisition of Cristal's business

Sept 5 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday granted the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a preliminary injunction blocking chemical maker Tronox's pending acquisition of Saudi Arabian peer Cristal's titanium dioxide business.

The FTC, which filed a complaint in July, first objected to the deal last year, saying the merger would reduce competition in the market.

Tronox and Cristal, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's Tasnee, are two of the three top suppliers of chloride process titanium dioxide, used to make paint, plastic, paper and other products, the FTC had then said.

Tronox said on Wednesday that it intends to appeal and will request an expedited hearing.

The company will also consider whether to proceed with the divestiture of Cristal's Ashtabula, Ohio, two-plant titanium dioxide production complex.

Tronox's shares were up marginally at $15.61. (Reporting by Karan Nagarkatti in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)