On June 22 Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its global marine services business, known for many years as Drew Marine, to J. F. Lehman & Co. in a transaction valued at approximately $120m before tax. Ashland’s after-tax proceeds will be used to reduce debt.
“This transaction will be a win for all parties,” said James J. O’Brien, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer. “For Ashland, this reflects our strategy to strengthen our core specialty chemical businesses while reducing our investment in non-core or non-strategic businesses. For J. F. Lehman & Co., the acquisition of Drew Marine represents an opportunity to acquire a leading global brand with strong market positions and prospects for growth. I believe the outlook for the marine business and its employees will be much stronger as part of an organization that is targeting growth in the maritime industry.”
“We are extremely excited with the prospect of owning the Drew Marine business and anticipate welcoming their employees to the J.F. Lehman & Co. family. We are confident this transaction will prove beneficial for all constituents involved,” said John F. Lehman, chairman, J.F. Lehman & Co. Louis N. Mintz, partner, added, “As the leading supplier of specialty chemicals and services to the maritime industry, Drew Marine represents an outstanding fit with our established investment criteria. We are looking forward to teaming with Drew Marine’s management and employees to continue their long history of technical excellence and dedication to customer service.”