Ashland to Acquire ISP, Expand in Personal Care

Ashland Inc. has agreed to acquire International Specialty Products Inc. (ISP) for US $3.2 billion cash to expand its portfolio in high-growth markets such as personal care, pharmaceuticals and energy. This acquisition is expected to strengthen the company's functional ingredients active patent portfolio as well as its team of R&D scientists. The result reportedly will be a stronger, global functional ingredients business with proven technological and application capabilities to solve customers’ unique formulation challenges.

Through its offerings, ISP will bring high-value water soluble polymers and other advanced technologies into Ashland’s functional ingredients business, as well as complementary additives for Ashland’s food and beverage, energy, coatings, adhesives and water treatment markets.

“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," commented James J. O’Brien, Ashland's chairman and CEO, in a press announcement. "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."

Ashland reportedly plans to merge ISP's employees with its own. The newly combined functional ingredients business is expected to contribute roughly half of Ashland’s US $1.1-billion pro forma EBITDA.

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