Clariant, Ashland to sell German joint venture ASK Chemicals

ZURICH, April 9 Wed Apr 9, 2014 1:45am EDT

ZURICH, April 9 (Reuters) - Swiss chemicals company Clariant and U.S. chemical manufacturer Ashland Inc said they had agreed to sell their joint venture ASK Chemicals to funds affiliated with private equity investment firm Rhone.

Total pretax proceeds from the sale will be 180 million Swiss francs ($203.6 million), after adjusting for debt and assumed liabilities, Clariant said on Wednesday.

The sum includes 155 million Swiss francs in cash and a 25 million franc buyer note, it said.

The proceeds will be split evenly between Clariant and Ashland, and the transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2014, pending regulatory approval, the Swiss firm said.

Based in Germany, ASK Chemicals makes foundry chemicals and metallurgical products, including coatings, filters and master alloys for iron casting. It employs 1,800 people in 25 countries, and generated revenue of 513 million euros ($707.7 million) in 2013, Clariant said.

($1 = 0.8843 Swiss Francs) ($1 = 0.7249 Euros) (Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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