28 August 2006 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Ashland is selling its paving and construction subsidiary (APAC) to Oldcastle Materials for $1.3bn.
The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the month, is an important step in achieving Ashland's strategic objectives, said James O'Brien, Ashland's chairman and chief executive.
'We have the financial flexibility to pursue organic growth and seek acquisitions that complement and strengthen our core chemical businesses,' he added.
Ashland will use the proceeds, estimated at $1.25bn after tax, to repurchase about 10m shares and pay a special dividend.
Standard & Poor has lowered Ashland's long-term corporate credit and unsecured debt ratings, citing its plans for the sale proceeds as the reason for this move.
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