Ashland Inc. and International Specialty Products Inc. (ISP) have announced that Ashland has agreed to acquire privately owned ISP, a global specialty chemical manufacturer of functional ingredients and technologies. Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, Ashland will pay approximately $3.2 billion for the business in an all-cash transaction. At closing, ISP’s advanced product portfolio will expand Ashland’s position in high-growth markets such as personal care, pharmaceutical, and energy.
ISP is a global supplier of specialty chemicals and performance enhancing products for consumer and industrial markets. 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. The acquisition is expected to strengthen Ashland’s functional ingredients active patent portfolio and its team of research and development scientists. The result will be a stronger, global functional ingredients business with technological and application capabilities to solve customers’ unique formulation challenges.
“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,” said Ashland Chairman and CEO James O’Brien.
The transaction, which is expected to close prior to the end of the September quarter, is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and receipt of U.S. and European Union regulatory approvals.