Ashland is a diversified company involved in the worldwide supply of chemicals, products and services to primarily the construction, transportation and water industries. Operating in more than 100 countries around the world, it has annual sales of around $9bn (fiscal 2010), and employs around 14,700 people.
Download the The ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies listing here
Ashland started in 1924 as a regional petroleum refiner.
On 13 November 2008, Hercules was acquired by Ashland creating a specialty chemicals company.
Ashland acquires Hercules
On 13 November 2008 Ashland competed its $2.60bn (€2.06bn) acquisition of Hercules. Each share of Hercules common stock outstanding was exchanged for $18.60 in cash and 0.093 of a share of Ashland common stock.
In October 2008, the European Commission (EC) approved the proposed acquisition of Hercules by Ashland.
The deal was previously announced on 11 July 2008.
Other company movements
In January 2011, Perstorp acquired Ashland’s pentaerythritol (penta) business. For more on this please see Sweden's Perstorp acquires Ashland's pentaerythritol business on ICIS news.
In July 2010, Ashland Chemical and Sud-Chemie agreed to merge its foundry chemicals activities into a joint venture. The 50:50 joint venture will be known as ASK Chemicals GmbH. For more on this please see Sud-Chemie, Ashland agree to merge foundry chemicals operations on ICIS news.
Please see US Ashland closes $75m sale of wood rosin and terpenes business on ICIS news.
In December 2009, Ashland agreed to sell its refined wood rosin and natural wood terpenes business to Canadian private equity firm TorQuest Partners. For more on this please see Ashland to sell wood rosins and terpenes for $75m on ICIS news.
In August 2009, Ashland completed the sale of Drew Marine for around $120m (€84m) to JF Lehman & Co. For more on this please see US Ashland completes sale of marine services business on ICIS news.
Ashland operates through three specialty chemical businesses
Ashland Hercules Water Technologies - a provider of paper and water technologies.
Ashland Performance Materials - a provider of specialty resins.
Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients - a provider of specialty additives and functional ingredients.
The company is further split into five operating units
Ashland Hercules Water Technologies - a specialty paper and water chemicals business formed from the related operations of Hercules and Ashland.
Ashland Performance Materials - the specialty resins business serving construction, infrastructure, energy and transportation segments.
Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients - a specialty additives and functional ingredients derived from renewable resources, and serving personal care, pharmaceuticals, food, construction, transportation and other industries.
Ashland Consumer Markets - markets the Valvoline lubricants, automotive appearance and service business.
Ashland Distribution - North America’s distributor of chemicals, plastics, composite materials and environmental services.
Ashland Hercules Water Technologies
Ashland Hercules Water Technologies is a specialty paper and water chemicals business formed from the related operations of Hercules and Ashland.
Drew Industrial - This business group supplies specialised chemicals and consulting services for the treatment of boiler water, cooling water, steam, fuel and waste streams. It also supplies process chemicals and technical services to the pulp and paper and mining industries and additives to manufacturers of latex and paint.
Environmental and Process Solutions – A global producer of environmentally responsible specialty chemicals that aid in the conditioning and treatment of water and wastewater.
Ashland Performance Materials
Ashland Performance Materials division is a global manufacturer and supplier of specialty chemicals and customised services to the building and construction, packaging and converting, transportation, marine and metal casting industries.
Composite Polymers - This business group manufactures and sells a broad range of chemical-resistant, fire-retardant, general-purpose and high-performance marine grades of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins and gelcoats for the reinforced plastics industry. Key markets include the transportation, construction and marine industries.
Casting Solutions - This business group manufactures and sells metal casting chemicals worldwide, including sand-binding resin systems, refractory coatings, release agents, engineered sand additives and riser sleeves. This business group serves the global metal casting industry from nine owned and operated manufacturing sites.
Specialty Polymers and Adhesives - This business group manufactures and sells adhesive systems to the building and construction, transportation, and packaging and converting markets.
Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients
A specialty additives and functional ingredients derived from renewable resources, and serving personal care, pharmaceuticals, food, construction, transportation and other industries.
Ashland Distribution distributes chemicals, plastics, reinforcements and resins, and fine ingredients in North America and plastics in Europe. Suppliers include many of the world's leading chemical manufacturers. Ashland Distribution specialises in providing mixed truckloads and less-than-truckload quantities to customers in a wide range of industries.
Ashland Distribution operates in the following major market segments:
Chemicals - Ashland Distribution distributes specialty and industrial chemicals, additives and solvents to industrial users in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, as well as some export operations. Markets served include the paint and coatings, inks, adhesives, polymer, rubber, industrial and institutional compounding, automotive, appliance and paper and personal care industries.
Plastics - Ashland Distribution offers a broad range of thermoplastic resins and specialties to processors in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, as well as some export operations. Processors include injection moulders, extruders, blow moulders, and rotational moulders. Ashland Distribution also provides plastic material transfer and packaging services and less-than-truckload quantities of packaged thermoplastics.
Composites - Ashland Distribution is a distributor of resins and reinforcements to the composites, reinforced plastics and cast polymer industries.
Environmental services - An innovator in environmental services management providing customers with collection, disposal and recycling of hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams.
Ashland Consumer Markets
Ashland Consumer Markets - Valvoline lubricants, automotive appearance and service business.
Valvoline - Serving more than 100 countries, Valvoline is a leading marketer, distributor and producer of branded, high-performing automotive and industrial products and services.
Back to company overview page
Ashland’s key strategic focus is growing as a diversified chemical company both organically and through acquisitions. ICIS also provides you with key financial data listed in table form.
More about Ashland Strategy & Financial Highlights
Get news on Ashland plus the latest chemical news, information, data, market movements and analysis
in one place with ICIS news
Find details on other chemical companies and suppliers with
ICIS offers a range of FREE e-newsletters to ensure that you don't miss out on the latest development and key market intelligence in your industry. If you want the latest news sent to your inbox, sign up for ICIS e-newsletters today.
Find out more about current and planned chemical plants and projects by subscribing to our comprehensive database
INSIGHT: European oxo-alcohols, plasticizers producers under pressure
Oxo-alcohols and plasticizers pricing agreements remain highly transactional."
PODCAST: Europe MPG market witnessing evolution in Q1