In a move that concludes a decade-long transition from an oil refiner and marketer to a specialty chemicals company, Ashland has reported that its board has approved its plan to separate into two publicly traded companies, which will be the new Ashland and Valvoline.
The new Ashland will focus on driving growth in higher margin speciality chemicals and will include its specialty ingredients and performance materials businesses, which generated a combined $3.6 billion of sales during the year ended June 30. Meanwhile the second company will be based on its lubricant brand and will consist of its Valvoline engine and automotive maintenance business, which generated approximately $2 billion of revenue in the 12 months ending June.
William A. Wulfsohn, Ashland Chairman and Chief Executive officer, says, “Ashland is fortunate to have two strong, but distinctly different, business platforms with attractive growth opportunities and experienced leadership teams. We believe that separating into two industry-leading public companies – one focused on specialty chemicals and the other focused on high-performance lubricants – will generate significant value for shareholders by enabling each company to focus on its specific business and strategic priorities.”
The separation of the company is expected to take about a year, with Wulfsohn said to be continuing in his roles at the new Ashland.
Wulfsohn continues, “For the new Ashland, that means becoming a ‘solutions destination’ for a wide range of consumer and industrial customers through the delivery of value-added technology and world-class operations. For Valvoline, it means building the world’s leading engine and automotive maintenance business by providing hands-on expertise to customers around the world. Each company will be a leader in its respective industry, with the capital structure, financial resources and capital allocation strategies to drive greater revenue and earnings growth.”