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Ineos has agreed to buy Ashland’s composites businesses and its butanediol plant in Marl, Germany, for $1.1 billion. Together the businesses have $1.1 billion in annual sales and 1,300 employees. The composites business produces unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins, and gel coats. Ashland will retain its butanediol plant in Lima, Ohio, to make derivatives such as tetrahydrofuran and N-methylpyrrolidone. Ashland put the units up for sale in March as part of a strategy to focus on higher-end specialty chemicals. The firm is also under the influence of the activist investment firm Cruiser Capital. Ineos sees composites as a growth business.
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