Ashland Inc. successfully completed the divestment of its global Ashland Water Technologies (AWT) business unit to a fund managed by private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in a transaction valued at approximately US$1.8 billion. Net proceeds from the sale totaled approximately US$1.4 billion, which will be used to return capital to shareholders in the form of share repurchases.
The AWT business unit, which had annual sales of US$1.7 billion and which employs approximately 3,000 people worldwide, is a leading supplier of specialty chemicals and services to the global pulp and paper and industrial water markets.
The Ashland divestment was led by Michael Roe, Ashland's Assistant General Counsel, with assistance from Squire Patton Boggs LLP and Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP as M&A co-counsel and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, as Canadian M&A counsel. The Squire Patton Boggs team was led by Carolyn Buller, Jonathon Whittlesey and Christopher Pochon. The Cravath team was led by Susan Webster and Thomas Dunn and included Christopher Couvelier, Ankur Patel and Andrew Jennings. The Blakes team was led by Jillian Swartz and included Stefan Timms, Saktish Pillai, Benjamin Adelson, Elizabeth Boyd, Zvi Halpern-Shavim, Navin Joneja, Jonathan Kahn, Joan Kennedy, Holly Reid, Allan Gelkopf, Jeffrey Shafer and Ian Caines.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice was led by George Jaquette, Stephen Shapiro and David Wasserman, with assistance from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, as US counsel andStikeman Elliott LLP, as Canadian counsel. The Debevoise & Plimpton team was led by Paul Bird, Michael Diz, Christopher Anthony and Pooja Patel. The Stikeman Elliott team included Paul Collins, Stewart Sutcliffe, Mario Paura, Alan Kenigsberg, Lorna Cuthbert, Larry Cobb, Aaron Vieira, Michael Laskey, Luc Vaillancourt, Michael Nilevsky and Sarah Matthews.