Ashland to sell unit and take other steps in dealing with softer chemical market

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Ashland plans to spin off a business and take other actions to deal with softer markets for its chemical offerings.

Ashland, like other chemical companies, is seeing customers destocking inventories, perhaps due to softer conditions or easing supply chain issues.

Ashland is based near Wilmington.

Ashland announced it will sell its nutraceuticals business and take other steps in dealing with market conditions.

“We are pleased with the progress our Nutraceuticals team has made to strengthen and grow the business,” said CEO Guillermo Novo. “However, we have determined that it is not core to Ashland’s business model or longer-term strategy.  As we saw with the sale of our Adhesive business, we believe Nutraceuticals will be better positioned to thrive as part of an organization where Nutraceuticals is a core to their model and future investment strategy.” 

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Nutraceuticals are pharmaceutical alternatives that claim to be beneficial to health. Annual sales are in the $100 million range.

“Customer demand was generally consistent with our expectations in the fourth quarter,” said Novo “While we are seeing certain signs of stabilizing demand and reduced destocking actions by customers, there continues to be limited visibility regarding the timing of demand normalization.” 

Ashland has been going through major changes after acquiring Wilmington-based Hercules Incorporated more than a decade ago.

It sold off a large part of Hercules to a private equity firm that renamed the business Solenis. That company, based near Wilmington has been active on the acquisitions front and is larger than Ashland, which earlier spun off its Valvoline motor oil business and moved its headquarters from Kentucky to northern Delaware.

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