Ashland, Sud-Chemie to form metal castings JV

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Jul 8, 2008, 5:20:34 AM7/8/08
to Global Metal Casting Community
Chemical company Ashland Inc. said it signed an agreement Wednesday
with Germany's Sud-Chemie AG to form a joint venture to supply
foundries with metal casting products.

Ashland expects closing on a definitive agreement for the 50-50
venture, which will be based in Venlo, The Netherlands, early next
year.

The venture, which has yet to be named, will include Ashland's Casting
Solutions business plus the foundry-related businesses of Sud-Chemie
and Ashland-Sudchemie-Kernfest GmbH.

The nonbinding memorandum of understanding signed Wednesday calls for
the venture to supply resins and coatings to foundries and metal
casting customers in an operation that includes sales, marketing,
technology and manufacturing.

Metal casting entails using sand blended with assorted chemicals, like
resins and coatings, to form molds into which molten metal is poured
and then hardened. Foundries make metal castings.

Had the venture been formed last year, it would have had estimated
revenue of about $1.1 billion and 1,300 employees.

"When you consider the rapid industrialization occurring within key
markets like China, Eastern Europe, Brazil and India, it is easy to
recognize the strong growth opportunities that exist for the metal
casting industry," James J. O'Brien, Ashland's chief executive, said
in a statement.

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