Ashland sells distribution business to investment group

New York-based investment firm TPG Capital acquires Ashland Distribution for $930 million.

Ashland Inc. (Covington, Ky., USA) on Nov. 8 announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its global distribution business, known for many years as Ashland Distribution, to TPG Capital (New York, N.Y., USA) for $930 million.

Commenting on the transaction, Ashland chairman and CEO James J. O'Brien said, "This divestiture reflects Ashland's strategic direction and completes a major step in our multi-year transformation into a high-performing specialty chemicals company. Our overall goal remains to return maximum long-term value to our shareholders. For TPG, the purchase of Ashland Distribution represents an opportunity to acquire an industry-leading distributor with an established network of suppliers. I believe the outlook for the distribution business and its employees will be much stronger as part of an organization targeting growth within the distribution marketplace."

"We are very excited to invest in Ashland Distribution, which Ashland has built into one of the leading global chemical distribution companies," said Michael MacDougall, partner at TPG Capital. "We look forward to partnering with management and the talented employees to continue the company's growth."

Kevin Burns, partner at TPG Capital added, "TPG has a long history of helping former subsidiaries thrive as independent companies. With our experience in chemicals and distribution, and the management team's deep knowledge of the sector, the potential is high for continued strong performance at Ashland Distribution."

The Ashland Distribution business has been a part of Ashland for more than 40 years. With revenues of $3.4 billion, the Ashland Distribution business has approximately 2,000 employees across North America and Europe, and entered the China plastics market in 2009. Ashland Distribution has partnerships with many of the world's leading chemical manufacturers, and adds value to products by delivering against customersí needs.

The transaction is expected to close prior to the end of the March 2011 quarter, dependent upon the receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other standard closing conditions.