Ashland Inc. has agreed to acquire International Specialty Products Inc. (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. ISP, a global supplier of specialty chemicals and performance enhancing products for consumer and industrial markets, generated sales of approximately $1.6 billion for year ended March 31, 2011.
According to Ashland, 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.
“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 Ashland chairman and CEO James J. O’Brien. “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 said, “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.”