Ashland Inc. and International Specialty Products Inc. (ISP) announced that Ashland has agreed to acquire privately owned ISP, a global specialty chemical manufacturer of innovative 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. For the 12 months ended March 31, 2011, ISP generated sales of approximately $1.6 billion and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of approximately $360 million.
ISP is a leading global supplier of specialty chemicals and performance enhancing products for consumer and industrial markets. Through its unique 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 significantly 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 proven 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,” said James J. O’Brien, Ashland chairman and CEO. “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.”
“We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to combine ISP with Ashland,” said Sunil Kumar, ISP president and CEO. “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.”
“We look forward to welcoming ISP’s employees to Ashland,” Mr. O’Brien added. “Our business models are complementary and we share common capabilities in formulation, application development and polymerization. We are disciplined in the underlying processes and operations that enable us to manufacture best-in-class products. 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. We are excited about the opportunities for innovation and growth that lie ahead of us.”
On a pro forma basis giving effect to the transaction, Ashland would have had combined revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, 2011, of approximately $7.6 billion, with nearly half of revenues generated outside North America. The newly combined functional ingredients business is expected to contribute roughly half of Ashland’s $1.1-billion pro forma EBITDA.
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.