Ashland to be split into two companies

US speciality chemicals company Ashland plans to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies. One of the companies will keep the Ashland name and serve the speciality chemicals sector while the other will be known as Valvoline and focus on lubricants. It generated sales of US$2 billion for Ashland in the 12-month period ended June 30, 2015.

The new Ashland will be a global leader in providing speciality chemical solutions to customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets. These markets are currently served by Ashland's Chemicals Group, comprising Ashland Specialty Ingredients and Ashland Performance Materials. Key markets and applications include pharmaceutical, personal care, food and beverage, architectural coatings, adhesives, automotive, construction and energy. Together these businesses generated approximately US$3.6 billion in sales for the 12 months ended June 30, 2015.

"Ashland is fortunate to have two strong, but distinctly different, business platforms with attractive growth opportunities and experienced leadership teams," said William A. Wulfsohn, Ashland Chairman/CEO. "We believe that separating into two industry-leading public companies - one focused on specialty chemicals and the other focused on high-performance lubricants - will generate significant value for shareholders by enabling each company to focus on its specific business and strategic priorities. For the new Ashland, that means becoming a 'solutions destination' for a wide range of consumer and industrial customers through the delivery of value-added technology and world-class operations. For Valvoline, it means building the world's leading engine and automotive maintenance business by providing hands-on expertise to customers around the world. Each company will be a leader in its respective industry, with the capital structure, financial resources and capital allocation strategies to drive greater revenue and earnings growth."

The new Ashland will focus on: driving growth in higher-margin, highly differentiated core product lines where the company helps customers succeed; leveraging the innovation pipeline by driving new product introductions; optimizing the business and product portfolio; and taking a disciplined approach to capital investment.

Wulfsohn will serve as Chairman/CEO of the new Ashland following the separation.


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