British chemicals firm Croda ends merger talks with Ashland - source

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - British specialty chemicals maker Croda International Plc has ended talks with U.S. peer Ashland Global Holdings Inc about a possible merger, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The unsuccessful deal talks show that Ashland is viewed among its rivals as a potential target for consolidation in the sector, following the initial public offering (IPO) of its automotive lubricants unit Valvoline Inc in 2016.

Croda, which has a market value of 5.6 billion pounds ($7.79 billion), ended talks with Ashland last month, the source said.

Details of the terminated discussions were not available.

Ashland, which has a market value of $4.5 billion, is active in more than 100 countries providing chemicals products to various industries including automotive, energy and construction.

Ashland did not respond to a request for comment. ($1 = 0.7191 pounds) (Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Pamela Barbaglia, editing by Louise Heavens)