Ashland Sells Maleic Anhydride Portfolio to AOC

04.08.2020 - US chemical producer Ashland said it has reached a “definitive agreement” to sell its maleic anhydride (MA) business and the production plant at Neal, West Virginia, to AOC Materials for $100 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020, pending all approvals.

The business was not included in Ashland’s divestment of its composites business and its butanediol (BDO) plant at Marl, Germany, to the Ineos group in September 2019.

Dublin, Ohio-headquartered Ashland reacquired the 40-45,000 t/y West Virginia plant in 2010 from its former partner, Marathon Petroleum, based at Findlay. It had initially sold the facility to Marathon in 2005, along with its share in a former joint venture. It was Ashland’s only MA production asset.

Guillermo Novo, chairman and CEO of Ashland, said the divestment is part of the company’s drive to improve its margins by streamlining its portfolio and focusing on specialty ingredient.

AOC, based at Collierville, Tennessee, is a leading manufacturer of the chemical used as a feedstock for unsaturated polyester resins as well as in other large-scale coatings and polymer applications. Its CEO, Joe Salley, said the company plans to produce the additional MA volumes for its own internal consumption as well as selling some of it on the merchant market.