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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Ashland sells fuel treatment business

Global marine services business Drew Marine is sold in deal worth $120 million.



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Updated on 23 Jun 2009 08:06 GMT

Ashland Inc. has 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 $120 million before tax. Ashland's after-tax proceeds will be used to reduce debt.

With revenues of approximately $140 million a year, the Drew Marine business includes Ashland's fuel treatment solutions division which offers a fuel management program aimed at optimizing fuel performance. The division offers fuel sampling units and onboard fuel test kits as well as laboratory fuel analysis via its alliance with Oiltest Inc.. It also sells its own brand of fuel additives and offers engine performance monitoring services.

The Drew Marine business has approximately 325 employees, 28 offices and 98 stocking locations in 47 countries.

"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."

The transaction is expected to close within 60 days, conditioned upon a number of standard closing conditions. Both Ashland and J.F. Lehman & Co. expect a seamless transition with no disruption in customer service or supply.






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