Ashland Inc. and International Specialty Products Inc. (ISP) recently 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.

The acquisition is expected to significantly strengthen Ashland’s functional ingredients active patent portfolio, as well as 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, chairman and CEO of Ashland. “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, president and CEO of ISP. “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.”

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