Ashland to sell water chemical unit for $1.8B

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Ashland Inc. says it has agreed to sell its water chemicals business to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for about $1.8 billion.

The business makes chemicals used by the paper, energy and food and beverage industries. They are also used in boilers and cooling towers.

The deal is expected to close by Sept. 30. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice says that John Panichella will remain as CEO of the water chemicals company.

Ashland, which is based in Covington, Ky., will use the proceeds of the transaction to buy back its own shares. The company's board of directors approved a $1.35 billion share repurchase program Tuesday.