NL Industries, Inc. (NYSE: NL) conducts its component products operations through its majority-owned subsidiary, CompX International, Inc. NL also owns a significant interest in Kronos Worldwide, Inc., a global producer and marketer of value-added titanium dioxide pigments (“TiO2”).
CompX is among the world’s largest producers of precision ball bearing slides, security products and ergonomic computer support systems. CompX’s precision ball bearing slides are for use in moving drawers and containers in office furniture, electromechanical units and computer-related applications. CompX’s security products are used for a wide variety of applications, including computers, office furniture and cabinetry, vending machines, postal boxes and motorcycles. CompX’s ergonomic computer support systems and accessories are highly engineered products designed to provide ergonomic benefits for business and other sophisticated users. CompX’s products are principally designed for use in medium to high-end product applications, where design, quality and durability are critical to CompX’s customers.
Kronos’ TiO2 products are sold under the widely recognized Kronos® brand name and are utilized in a diverse range of customer applications and end-use markets, including coatings, plastics, paper and other industrial and consumer markets. Kronos’ broad range of over 40 TiO2 pigment products are “quality of life” products that significantly enhance the key characteristics of its customers’ end-products by imparting whiteness, brightness and opacity. Kronos and its predecessors have produced and marketed TiO2 pigments and related products for over 80 years, and Kronos has an estimated global market share based on 2003 sales volume of 12%. Kronos also operates an ilmenite mine in Norway, which supplies feedstock to certain of its manufacturing plants and to third parties, and manufactures and sells iron-based co-product chemicals and titanium chemicals.