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With sales in more than 100 countries, Ashland is a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, a leading distributor of chemicals and plastics, and a provider of automotive lubricants, car-care products and quick-lube services. Hercules is a leader in specialty additives and ingredients that modify the physical properties of water-based systems, and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of specialty chemicals to the pulp and paper industry.
Upon closing the transaction, Ashland will have pro forma combined revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, 2008, of more than $10 billion, including approximately $3.5 billion generated outside North America. For the same period, Ashland generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $365 million excluding certain items, while Hercules reported ongoing EBITDA of $392 million excluding certain items. Specialty chemicals, which on a pro forma basis represent approximately 75 percent of total EBITDA, will serve as Ashland’s primary platform for future growth.
Ashland Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James J. O’Brien said, “The acquisition of Hercules fulfills our objective to become a leading specialty chemicals company. It creates a defined core for Ashland composed of three specialty chemical businesses with strong market positions and promising global growth potential: specialty additives and ingredients, paper and water technologies, and specialty resins. In addition, we expect our financial profile to be enhanced significantly through reduced earnings volatility, improved profitability and stronger cash flow generation.”
Hercules President and Chief Executive Officer Craig A. Rogerson said, “We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to combine Hercules with Ashland. Our companies share proud and similar histories of nearly 100 years of innovation, dedication and service. Hercules shareholders will receive a significant premium over the current trading price for their shares and, through their ownership of Ashland shares, the opportunity to participate in the upside potential of the combined company. We look forward to working with Ashland to bring these two great companies together.”
For more information, visit www.ashland.com or www.herc.com.