Venator Materials PLC (VNTR) Accused of Concealing Impact of Devastating Fire at Its Facility
According to the complaint, in January 2017, a fire ravaged one of Venator Materials PLC’s key plants for manufacturing titanium dioxide in Pori, Finland. Before the fire, its production represented approximately 17% of its total titanium dioxide capacity and 2% of total global demand for the chemical. Unbeknownst to investors, Venator’s registration statements misrepresented the true extent of the fire damage, the cost to rehabilitate it, and the impact on its business and operations. The Pori facility was virtually beyond repair, and any attempt to restore it would cost over $1 billion—hundreds of millions of dollars beyond the limits of the company’s insurance policy applicable to the disaster. In September 2018, Venator announced that it was abandoning the facility altogether. By October 30, 2018, Venator’s share price had plummeted to only $6.47 per share and now trades at around $3.00 per share – nearly 85% lower than the IPO price and over 86% lower than the SPO price.