BASF and Solenis are creating a new water and paper chemical company by combining BASF’s business in the area with Solenis. The combination would have had about $2.9 billion in sales last year and 5,000 employees involved with products used in water treatment and paper manufacturing such as dyes, optical brighteners, polyacrylamide, and alkyl ketene dimer. BASF, which has been closing or divesting paper chemical facilities in an effort to boost profitability, is contributing businesses with close to $1 billion in annual sales and around 1,300 employees. Solenis is the former Ashland water chemical business. It was acquired in 2014 for $1.8 billion by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private equity firm. The combined business will be owned 49% by BASF and 51% by CD&R. It will be called Solenis and headed by John E. Panichella, the current CEO of Solenis.