12 August 2010 22:12 [Source: ICIS news]
By Joseph Chang
NEW YORK (ICIS)--US-based lubricant and specialty chemicals producer Ashland has put its distribution business on the selling block, several sources in the financial community said on Thursday.
"They tried to sell it about a year ago and failed. This is a second attempt," a source said.
Another source said he had seen "the book", referring to the documents that provide details about the business for sale.
Ashland Distribution is the world’s third largest chemical distributor, with 2009 sales of $2.9bn (€2.3bn).
In 2009, Ashland Distribution provided the largest share of the company's revenue, at 37%, according to its annual report.
Ashland's Water Technologies business provided 20%. Consumer Markets, which includes Valvoline lubricants, also provided 20% of the company's revenue.
Ashland's other businesses are Aqualon Functional Ingredients and Performance Materials, which makes specialty and composite polymers.
Germany’s Brenntag is the world's chemical-distrubtion leader with €6.4bn in 2009 sales, followed by US-based Univar with $7.2bn in 2009 sales.
Brenntag went public in Germany in March, raising €747.5m, while Univar has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, seeking to raise up to $862.5m.
Ashland said it does not comment on market speculation.
Additional reporting by Al Greenwood
($1 = €0.78)
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