Ashland acquires Hercules; deal to up co's revenue from outside North America

US specialty chemical maker, Ashland Inc. has recently acquired Hercules Incorporated, creating a leading specialty chemicals company serving many of the world's most essential needs and industries. The company now includes a three specialty chemical businesses- paper and water technologies, specialty resins, and specialty additives and functional ingredients-generating approximately three quarters of total EBITDA on a pro forma basis. The specialty chemical businesses hold strong market positions and promising global growth potential. The company anticipates approximately US$120 mln in annual run-rate savings by eliminating redundancies and capturing operational efficiencies by the end of fiscal year 2010. The transaction is set to expand international presence of Ashland thereby increasing revenue derived outside North American market to roughly 35% of the total US$10.7 bln of pro forma revenue for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2008. The new structure, incorporating the former Hercules businesses, is composed of five commercial units: - Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, a $2 billion 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 fast-growing business of specialty additives and functional ingredients derived from renewable resources, and serving personal care, pharmaceuticals, food, construction, transportation and other industries; - Ashland Consumer Markets, the Valvoline® lubricants, automotive appearance and service business; and - Ashland Distribution, North America's leading distributor of chemicals, plastics, composite materials and environmental services.
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