Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) and Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) today announced an agreement under which a CD&R-managed fund will acquire Ashland Water Technologies (“AWT”), a leading global supplier of specialty chemicals for process, functional and water treatment applications. AWT serves customers in the pulp, paper, power generation, mining, oil & gas refining, chemical processing, general industrial, food and beverage, institutional, commerical and municipal end markets. The carve-out transaction is valued at approximately $1.8 billion.
With annual revenues of $1.7 billion, AWT offers chemical and equipment technologies and services designed to help customers improve operational efficiencies, enhance product quality, protect plant assets and minimize environmental impact. AWT operates a global footprint with 31 manufacturing facilities across 17 countries and 5 continents. The company’s segments are Pulp & Paper (67% of 2013 sales) and Industrial Water (33% of 2013 sales).
The company offers a broad range of products and services to meet the diverse requirements of its customers. The Pulp & Paper business unit’s extensive product offering includes sizing, strength, biocides, retention and drainage control, contaminant control, and crepe and release chemistries. Each of these product groups addresses major steps in the packaging, tissue & towel or paper manufacturing processes and helps customers either maximize production process efficiency or improve end product characteristics. The Industrial Water business unit sells both water treatment and process chemicals to its customers, with a product portfolio that includes chemicals and solutions that are used in boilers, cooling towers and wastewater treatment applications to prevent corrosion, deposition, biological fouling and foaming and improve process efficiency.
“We are excited to be partnering with John Panichella and the AWT management team and look forward to working with them to move the business forward to its next level of profitable growth,” said CD&R Partner David H. Wasserman.
“Ashland Water Technologies has many attractive features, including a very strong competitive position which reflects its global scale, deep set of service capabilities and innovation leadership," said CD&R Partner George K. Jaquette. "We look forward to working with the management team to build upon the company’s market leadership position."
John Panichella, who has more than 25 years of experience within global water markets, will continue to lead the business as Chief Executive Officer. Lewis Hay III, former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of NextEra Energy, Inc. and a CD&R Operating Advisor, will assume the role of Chairman upon the close of the transaction, expected by September 30, 2014.
CD&R has obtained committed financing from BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Macquarie Capital, Nomura Securities International, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets. BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Macquarie Capital, Nomura Securities International, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisors, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to CD&R in connection with the transaction.