According to the Complaint, Venator is a global chemical company primarily focused on the development and manufacture of Titanium Dioxide. Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring, opaque mineral that is used to enhance whiteness, opacity, and brightness in thousands of manufactured items such as coatings, plastics, paper, paints, inks, fibers, food, and personal care products, and is the mainstay of Venator’s range of products.
Venator was previously organized as the Pigments & Additives division within Huntsman Corporation, a multinational manufacturer of chemical products. In August 2017, Huntsman offered shares of Venator to the public through an initial public offering. Months earlier, however, on January 30, 2017, a fire had ravaged one of Venator's key chemical manufacturing plants located in Pori, Finland.
The Complaint alleges that in connection with its IPO and its December 2017 secondary stock offering, and continuing throughout the Class Period, Defendants misrepresented the true extent of the fire damage to Venator's Pori facility, the cost to rehabilitate the facility, and the impact on Venator's business and operations. The Company also assured investors that the Pori facility would be rebuilt with insurance proceeds within its policy limits. Throughout the Class Period, Venator and its executives continued to assure investors that the rebuild of the Pori facility was on track and that the Company would be able to fully recoup the production capacity lost in the fire. As a result of these misrepresentations, Venator shares traded at artificially inflated prices throughout the Class Period.