Ashland signs $92 million deal with Dow

DUBLIN, Ohio – Ashland Composite Polymers, a subsidiary of marine industry resin supplier Ashland Inc., has signed an agreement to purchase the DERAKANE epoxy vinyl ester resin business from Dow Chemical Co. in a cash transaction valued at approximately $92 million, Ashland said in a release yesterday afternoon.

Annual sales of DERAKANE resins – which have broad range of industrial uses including marine applications – are approximately $70 million. Ashland said the DERAKANE technology complements its current product portfolio of thermoset resins.

"Over the past two years, Ashland has spent a significant amount of time refining its portfolio of businesses and focusing on technologies - such as thermoset chemistries - that are core to the company's long-term, strategic focus," said Ted Harris, vice president, Ashland Specialty Chemical, and general manager, Composite Polymers. "Ashland's purchase of the DERAKANE resin business is in direct alignment with our long-term strategy to develop integrated systems and technology solutions that offer superior value to our customers."

Ashland’s purchase includes all technology assets associated with the DERAKANE business. No physical assets will transfer to Ashland. The closing, which is anticipated to take place in late 2004 or early 2005, is conditional upon a number of standard closing conditions, including several regulatory reviews, the company reported.

"We successfully built the DERAKANE business into a global industry leader," said Juan Antonio Merino, general manager of Dow's Thermoset Systems business. "However, in today's environment, continued success would require us to broaden our market participation and product offering. This would involve investing in polyester, which lies outside of our established core capabilities. We will work with Ashland and customers to ensure a smooth transition."

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