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Ashland to Acquire ISP

Posted: May 31, 2011

Ashland Inc. and International Specialty Products Inc. (ISP) announced Ashland will acquire privately owned ISP. Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, Ashland will pay approximately $3.2 billion for the business in an all-cash transaction, and the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of US and EU regulatory approvals, is expected to close prior to the end of the September quarter.

This acquisition will boost Ashland’s position in the pharmaceutical and personal care markets, as well as its functional ingredients offerings, adding products such as ISP’s water soluble polymers.

James J. O’Brien, CEO and chairman of Ashland, said, “This defining transaction enables us to significantly expand our market positions in higher margin, higher growth and less cyclical global markets like personal care and pharmaceuticals. It broadens Ashland’s presence within attractive growth areas like skin, hair and oral care, which are large and fast-growing segments of the $5-billion-plus personal care specialty ingredients market. In addition, we expect to more than double the size of our highest-margin functional ingredients business.”

ISP president and CEO Sunil Kumar commented, “We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to combine ISP with Ashland. Both companies have a strong commitment to serving customers with innovative solutions and technologies. We appreciate Ashland’s passion for this business and we believe this combination offers tremendous potential for our customers, key business partners and employees.”

O’Brien added, “We look forward to welcoming ISP’s employees to Ashland. Our business models are complementary and we share common capabilities in formulation, application development and polymerization. Given the quality of leadership within both businesses and our success with the integration of prior acquisitions, we are confident we will achieve a smooth transition to a combined company.”