Ashland Global Holdings Inc says that it is looking into ‘strategic alternatives’ for its composites segment and butanediol (BDO) manufacturing facility in Marl, Germany, and related merchant intermediates and solvents products. According to the company, it intends to evaluate all options with respect to these assets, including a potential sale. The company plans to retain its BDO plant in Lima, Ohio, to ensure consistent supply for Ashland's internal needs.

Ashland says that it could use proceeds from a possible sale of these assets mainly for debt reduction and share repurchases. Ashland's board of directors has approved a new US$1 billion share repurchase authorization to provide flexibility.

‘The decision to explore strategic options for these assets is consistent with Ashland's vision of creating the premier specialty chemicals company,’ said Bill Wulfsohn, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer. ‘Given the strong performance of these businesses, as well as recent tax reform changes, we believe it is the right time to initiate this review. With a more streamlined and focused product portfolio, improved margins and reduced earnings volatility, Ashland will be better positioned to deliver sustained earnings growth and unlock significant value for shareholders.’

If Ashland decides to sell these assets, it would expect to sign an agreement by the end of 2018, the company concluded.

This story uses material from Ashlandwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.