Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has agreed to acquire Ashland Water Technologies, a supplier of specialty chemicals used in water treatment, for $1.8 billion. Ashland Water Technologies is a division of Ashland, Inc.
“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 Jaquette. “We look forward to working with the management team to build upon the company’s market leadership position.”
Ashland Water Technologies (AWT) is a supplier of specialty chemicals and services to the pulp and paper (67% of 2013 sales) and industrial water markets (33% of 2013 sales). Pulp & paper products include sizing, strength, biocides, retention and drainage control, contaminant control, and crepe and release chemistries. Each of these product groups addresses steps in the packaging, tissue & towel or paper manufacturing processes. Industrial water products include water treatment and process chemicals that are used in boilers, cooling towers and wastewater treatment applications to prevent corrosion, deposition, biological fouling and foaming. AWT employs about 3,000 people and has annual revenues of approximately $1.7 billion. The division has 31 manufacturing facilities located in 17 countries and is headquartered in Wilmington, DE. To visit AWT’s website click HERE.
John Panichella will continue to lead AWT as Chief Executive Officer. Lewis Hay III, former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of NextEra Energy and a CD&R Operating Advisor, will assume the role of Chairman upon the close of the transaction, which is expected by the end of September.
“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 Wasserman.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice focuses on producing financial returns through building stronger more profitable businesses. Since inception, the firm has managed the investment of more than $19 billion in 59 businesses representing a range of industries with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $90 billion. Founded in 1978, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is based in New York and London (www.cdr-inc.com).
CD&R has obtained committed financing for the purchase of AWT from BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Macquarie Capital, Nomura Securities International, and RBC Capital Markets.
BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Macquarie Capital, Nomura Securities International, and RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisors, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to CD&R in connection with the transaction.
Ashland (NYSE: ASH) operates through four commercial units – Ashland Specialty Ingredients; Ashland Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Ashland Consumer Markets. The company serves the architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment markets. Ashland is headquartered in Covington, KY (www.ashland.com).
© 2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 2-18-14