Ashland to spin specialty chemicals business into standalone company

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ashland to spin specialty chemicals business into standalone company

Related tags: Active ingredient, Pharmacology

It will be business as usual for pharma customers as Ashland approves a plan to separate into two independent companies, the ingredients firm says.

The chemicals firm announced yesterday it has approved a plan to split into two independent, public companies, separating its engine and automotive maintenance business from its specialty chemicals business.

The former will be named Valvoline, while the latter will retain the name Ashland, and continue to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), excipients and intermediates for the pharma industry.

Company spokesman Gary Rhodes confirmed to in-Pharmatechnologist that it will be business as usual for now for Ashland’s customers, despite the separation.

There is no immediate impact on our contracts with customers,”​ he said. “We expect the separation to take at least one full year to complete.”

During a conference call discussing the plan yesterday, CEO William Wulfsohn told stakeholders the split comes at the end of a ten year restructuring plan which has seen Ashland streamline its operations through a series of acquisitions and divestitures, transforming the firm from an oil refiner and marketer to a specialty chemicals company.

Over the past few years, Ashland has expanded its tablet binding ingredient plant​ in Virginia, a solubilisation site​ in Delaware, and ramped up production at a tablet disintegration site​ in Texas. The firm also spent $3.2bn on ISP in 2011​ to expand its pharma ingredient business.

“The new Ashland comprising of Ashland Specialty Ingredients will be a leading chemical company,”​ Wulfsohn said. “It also marks an important milestone as we move to the completion of Ashland’s decade long transformation.

“We intend to leverage this as a catalysing event by making both businesses stronger by enabling the businesses to have the flexibility to pursue their respective operating and strategic comparatives.”

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