Ineos in €1bn deal to buy Ashland composites business

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UK-headquartered multinational chemicals company Ineos is buying the composites business of Ashland Global Holdings Inc for $1.1bn (€970,000).

The deal comprises 20 manufacturing sites in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Middle East employing 1300 people and generating sales of more than $1.1bn.

It also includes a butanediol (BDO) facility in Marl, Germany producing key intermediates for high performance polyesters and polyurethanes.

Ineos said on 15 Nov that it expected the deal to be completed in the first half of 2019, subject subject to regulatory approval and consultation processes.

Headquartered in Ashland, Kentucky, Ashland claims that its composites business is “a global leader” in unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins and gel coats. In addition, the unit also supplies corrosion-resistant fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) for challenging environments.

“Ashland’s composite resins have been the materials of choice for the world’s boat builders for 30 years, and for good reason,” said Ashley Reed, CEO Ineos Enterprises following the agreement.

Under the ownership of Ineos, Reed sees “great potential for growth” for Ashland’s materials.

According to Bill Wulfsohn, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer, the divestment is in line with the US company’s vision of becoming a “premier speciality chemicals company”.

Ashland had previously announced plans to "explore options" for its composites business in March.

“With a more streamlined and focused product portfolio, improved margins and reduced earnings volatility, Ashland will be better positioned to deliver sustained earnings growth and unlock significant value for shareholders,” Wulfsohn added.