Hercules Sells Synlubes Business


Ashland subsidiary Hercules is selling its synthetic aviation and refrigerant lubricants business to Monument Chemicals. The price was not disclosed.

The synthetic lubricants are polyol- and ester-based, and the annual revenue is about $50 million, according to Ashland.

Under the asset purchase agreement announced yesterday, Indianapolis-based Monument Chemicals will obtain a 22-acre parcel in Louisiana, Mo., including a manufacturing facility which Monument plans to continue operating.

The transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days, subject to conditions. Ashland said it sold the business in order to better focus its resources on more strategic assets and product lines.

In terms of whether Ashland considered consolidating the synlubes business with Valvoline, It didnt really align with Valvoline in any sense, Ashland spokesman Jim Vitak told Lube Report. It also didnt make sense to continue operating the site from a cost perspective, Vitak pointed out. The energy arrangements there werent conducive, and it would have taken huge investments for new generation.

The synlubes business was a small segment Ashland acquired as part of the purchase of Hercules in November 2008, he noted. This was a large manufacturing plant going back in Hercules history, at one time with various product lines, he said. One of them was a pentaerythritol business, which Hercules sold to Perstorp Polyols in January.

Ashland Water Technologies produces papermaking chemicals and supplies specialty chemicals to a wide variety of industries.

Monument Chemicals is a Heritage Group company. According to its web site, Heritage Group and its affiliates are the majority unit holders of Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. Heritage Group bought Calumet Refining Co. in November 1990.

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