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August 1, 2014

Sale of Ashland Water Technologies finalized, new name will be Solenis

Mary Page Bailey

Ashland Inc. (Covington, Ky.; finalized the sale of its water technologies business, Ashland Water Technologies. Going forward, Ashland Water Technologies will operate under the new name Solenis (Wilmington, Del.; The name change coincides with the acquisition of Ashland Water Technologies by a fund managed by private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).  Prior to the acquisition, Ashland Water Technologies was a commercial business unit of Ashland Inc. The sale closed July 31, 2014 and included the Industrial Water and the Pulp and Paper business units.
Although the name and brand are new, Solenis is grounded in a strong heritage that includes Ashland Water Technologies as well as Betz Laboratories, Drew, Stockhausen and Hercules. The stand-alone company continues a 94-year reputation as a manufacturer of specialty chemicals for the pulp, paper, oil and gas, chemical processing, mining, biorefining, power and municipal markets. Its product portfolio includes a broad array of process, functional and water treatment chemistries, as well as monitoring and control systems.
“We offer a unique blend of the right people, bringing the right experience, offering the right technology for every water and process challenge so we can best meet our customers’ needs and provide optimal solutions,” explained John Panichella, president and chief executive officer of Solenis. “As a stand-alone company, Solenis is better positioned to pursue new opportunities and develop new products that will deliver better value to our customers and result in steady growth and improved margins.”
According to Panichella, the company does not anticipate any changes to products, quality or services as a result of the transaction. “In fact,” he emphasized, “although the company is adopting a new name as part of this process, we will continue to rely on our proven leadership, industry expertise and market-focused research and development to lead the industry in analyzing and solving water and process challenges and support our customers with innovative products and services, just as we have in the past.”
In addition to Panichella, the Solenis leadership team includes: Jeff Fulgham, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Charles Robinson, senior vice president, Hercules Pulp & Paper Division; John Schumann, senior vice president, Industrial Water Division; and Dr. Timothy Wood, senior vice president and chief technology officer. All five executives come from Ashland Water Technologies and bring industry expertise and specialty chemical experience to their new roles. Together, they lead a team of 3,500 professionals working in 118 countries across five continents.

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