Updated: Ashland to move headquarters to Wilmington

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Delaware is poised to get another headquarters for a Fortune 500 company.

Ashland will move its headquarters from the Blue Grass State to Wilmington effective at the beginning of 2020. The company ranks 371st on the Fortune 500.

On Tuesday, Ashland Global Holdings Inc. announced plans to close its office in Lexington, KY and substantially downsize its headquarters office in Covington over the next 17 months as part of a restructuring.

“In addition to lowering our costs, we believe these actions will provide several benefits, including quicker decision making, better collaboration across functions, and flexibility in sharing resources,” a release stated.

“Ashland has a long history of innovation and success, including right here in Delaware,” said Delaware Gov. John Carney. “We’re thrilled they have selected Delaware for their corporate headquarters. This is additional proof that Delaware remains a great place for companies of any size to put down roots, grow, and create jobs.”
The move was a victory for Kurt Foreman and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, the public-private entity that is now handling some of the duties of the Delaware Economic Development Office. Foreman worked with Ashland in its plans to move its offices.

Ashland plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Covington to Wilmington, Delaware, effective January 1, 2020, the company announced.

In line with that decision, the company will significantly downsize the Covington office – which currently employs 48 people over the next 17 months. Some roles will be eliminated, while others will be relocated to Dublin (OH) or Wilmington, both of which are locations with an existing Ashland presence, the company noted.

Approximately 15 positions will remain in Covington for a time after the headquarters relocation.

Ashland plans to close the Lexington office as of December 31, 2019. The Lexington office currently employs 58 people. Similar to Covington, some roles will be eliminated, and others will be relocated to Dublin or Wilmington. A few employees will also work remotely

Ashland will continue to maintain a large workforce in Kentucky. The company’s largest global manufacturing plant is in Calvert City. The plant employs approximately 515 people.

Ashland acquired Hercules Incorporated a decade ago and has maintained a small presence in Delaware. It ranks 371ston the Fortune 500.

The company has restructuredits operations over the years, spinning off its petroleum operations, including the well known Valvoline line of motor oil and other chemical lines.

The total number of employees moving to Delaware was not announced.

Ashland’s headquarters would join two of the three spin-offs of DowDuPuPont as publicly held companies that would be based in northern Delaware.

The former DowDuPont agribusiness operation is known as Corteva, while the Specialty Products business of DowDuPont will keep the DuPont name.

Delaware has worked to attract corporate operations to the state and changed its corporate tax structure to become more competitive with neighboring states.

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