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Ashland Builds Specialties Position with ISP Purchase

10:31 AM MDT | June 13, 2011 | —Robert Westervelt

O'Brien: Shift to higher margins. Ashland agreed to acquire International Specialty Products (ISP; Wayne, NJ) for $3.2 billion in cash, expanding Ashland’s presence in higher-growth specialty chemical such as personal care and pharmaceutical ingredients. The deal is the latest in a growing trend by diversified firms to focus on expanding specialties assets (p. 19). The deal continues chairman and CEO James O’Brien’s strategy to remake Ashland as a specialty chemical maker with top-quartile earnings and operating performance. With ISP...

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