Ashland Inc. today provided an update on the previously announced plan to separate Ashland into two independent, publicly traded companies: the new Ashland, composed of Ashland Specialty Ingredients and Ashland Performance Materials, and Valvoline, composed of Ashland’s Valvoline business segment.
Ashland announced that the separation process and timeline remain on track; the preparatory work for the separation, including the carve-out audit and the creation of standalone operating entities, is proceeding on the expected timetable.
Subject to sufficiently attractive market conditions, Ashland plans to pursue an initial public offering (the “IPO”) of up to 20 percent of the common stock of Valvoline as a first step in the separation. The company expects to file a registration statement for the common stock of Valvoline with the Securities and Exchange Commission in mid-calendar year 2016 and complete the IPO during the fourth quarter of calendar year 2016. Ashland currently expects that it would distribute the remaining common stock of Valvoline to Ashland’s shareholders upon expiration of the IPO lock-up (typically six months after completion of the IPO).
Ashland’s objective in pursuing an IPO of Valvoline as the first step in the planned separation is to create two strong independent companies, each with a targeted mid-to-high BB ratings profile consistent with what was communicated at the time of announcement. The resultant capital structures for Valvoline and new Ashland are expected to provide an optimal level of financial flexibility for each company to pursue its long-term strategies. In addition, Ashland expects the planned IPO will allow Valvoline to establish a core shareholder base in advance of the distribution of the remaining common stock, and facilitate industry-specific research coverage for Valvoline.
This news release is being made pursuant to, and in accordance with, Rule 135 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of that jurisdiction.
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