Ashland plans to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies
Chemical maker Ashland Inc. has unveiled plans to split into two publicly traded companies, one focusing on specialty chemicals and the other focusing on lubricants.
The new Ashland will be a specialty chemical company in the fast-growing consumer and industrial markets, while its Valvoline business, which will be an engine and automotive maintenance business, will become a new public company.
In a statement, the Covington, Ky.-headquartered company said that the separation follows a strategic planning review by the leadership team. Ashland said the split also marks the final step in its more than decade-long transformation from an oil refiner and marketer to a specialty chemicals company. The split is expected to be complete “as soon as practicable,” but it will take more than a year, the company said.
The new Ashland will include the specialty ingredients and performance materials business units. Those businesses had sales of approximately $3.6 billion in the 12 months ended June 30. Valvoline is a maker of engine and automotive maintenance products. The business had sales of US$2 billion in the 12 months ended June 30. Valvoline ranks as the No. 2 quick-lube chain and No. 3 passenger car motor oil brand in the U.S., according to the announcement. The brand operates and franchises approximately 940 Valvoline Instant Oil Change service centres in the U.S.
Ashland chairman and CEO William A. Wulfsohn will serve as chairman and CEO of the new Ashland and non-executive chairman of Valvoline post-separation. Sam Mitchell, currently senior vice president of Ashland and president of Valvoline, will serve as Valvoline’s CEO.