Süd-Chemie AG

EANS-Adhoc: Süd-Chemie and Ashland agree on expanded joint venture serving foundry chemical sector

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Süd-Chemie and Ashland to merge worldwide foundry chemical activities under the name ASK Chemicals.

Süd-Chemie AG, Munich (Germany), and Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH), with headquarters in Covington, Kentucky (USA), have reached contractual agreement on the formation of a global joint venture to merge their business activities in the foundry chemicals sector. The joint venture will be known as ASK Chemicals GmbH and will be headquartered in Hilden, Germany. Süd-Chemie and Ashland will each hold a fifty-percent share in ASK Chemicals, while the operational management leadership will lie with Süd-Chemie.

This joint venture will employ approximately 1,300 people. Were it to have been in operation through the first six months of calendar year 2010, it would have generated total sales of about EUR240 million, or around $300 million - numbers reflecting that while the global foundry market saw moderate activity in Q1, it gained considerable momentum in Q2.

Süd-Chemie and Ashland are currently partners in Ashland-Südchemie-Kernfest GmbH, a foundry chemicals company operating successfully in Europe since its formation in 1970. The global joint venture will be comprised of three parts: Ashland-Südchemie-Kernfest, substantially all assets and employees of Süd-Chemie´s business unit for Foundry Products and Specialty Resins and Ashland´s Casting Solutions business unit. The transaction is expected to close towards the end of calendar year 2010, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory reviews.

The expanded joint venture will combine Süd-Chemie´s and Ashland´s sales and marketing, product development units and production assets with those of the Ashland-Südchemie-Kernfest joint venture. The new joint venture will have considerable growth potential as a result of uniting the foundry know-how of the partners and expanding the use of existing distribution channels and market synergies in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The joint venture will systematically pursue elements of the partner´s existing strategies aimed at expanding and strengthening market positions based on high-quality, full-service solutions to meet the rising global demands of modern-day foundries.

When established, the joint venture will be able to offer its customers holistic solutions and customized innovative consultancy services. It will demonstrate a high degree of customer orientation and specific knowledge of customers´ production processes, coupled with proven expertise in research and development and application engineering for foundry chemistry. The product range will include resins, binding agents, finishing tools, additives, feeder heads, filters, separating agents, metallurgical additives and cores. In addition, the joint venture will continue the partners´ demonstrated success as an innovator of environmentally-friendly, i.e. emission-free and emission-reducing, moulding processes.

Operations merging into the ASK Chemicals GmbH joint venture are the Casting Solutions business unit of Ashland Inc., including assets in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, India and Korea; Süd Chemie's Foundry Products and Specialty Resins business unit including the Süd-Chemie subsidiaries SKW Giesserei GmbH, WD-Giesserei-Technik GmbH, Tecpro Corporation Inc., Süd-Chemie Hi-Tech Ceramics Inc., Ajay Metachem Süd-Chemie Pvt. Ltd., parts of Jiangsu Süd-Chemie Chemical Materials Co., Ltd. and the companies belonging to the existing joint venture, Ashland-Südchemie-Kernfest GmbH, and its subsidiaries (AS Group).

end of ad-hoc-announcement ========================================== ====================================== About Süd-Chemie Süd-Chemie (www.sud-chemie.com) is a publicly quoted (Security Identification Number ISIN: DE 0007292005; WKN: 729200) specialty chemicals company headquartered in Munich, Germany and operating on a worldwide scale. Key markets served by its Adsorbents Division include the consumer goods, packaging and foundry industries, as well as water treatment. Products manufactured by the Catalysts Division offer solutions for the chemical, petrochemical and refinery industries, for energy storage and hydrogen production, as well as off-gas purification. The common denominator of all Süd-Chemie products and services is the efficient and sparing use of natural resources to enhance the quality of life for humans and the environment. The Süd-Chemie Group generated sales of approx. EUR 1.1 billion in 2009, about 85% of these outside Germany. At the end of December 2009, the group employed some 6,500 people in more than 80 sales and production companies worldwide.

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ots Originaltext: Süd-Chemie AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Patrick Salchow
Tel.: +49 (0)89 5110 250
E-Mail: patrick.salchow@sud-chemie.com

Branche: Chemicals
ISIN:      DE0007292005
WKN:        729200
Börsen:  Hamburg / free trade
              Frankfurt / free trade
              Berlin / regulated dealing
              München / regulated dealing

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