January 20, 2016 / 4:07 AM / 3 years ago

Shareholder urges Ashland to halt Valvoline spinoff -WSJ

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Elmrox Investment Group LLC, one of the largest shareholders of Ashland Inc, is urging the chemical maker to halt plans to spin off its Valvoline business and instead seek a buyer for its specialty-chemicals unit, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a presentation it reviewed.

Elmrox plans to release the presentation publicly this week, the Journal said. (on.wsj.com/1SvIIri)

With a stake worth at about $100 million, the investment firm believes the unit could be valued at a sale price of around $9 billion, citing the recent deals surrounding the mergers of various chemical companies, the newspaper said.

Elmrox also said the Valvoline business could be worth more than $7 billion in the presentation, the Journal reported.

In an emailed statement to the newspaper, Ashland said it welcomes inputs from shareholders but stands by its current plan.

“We are confident that our planned separation of Ashland into two great independent, public companies is our best path forward to enhance shareholder value,” the company told the Journal.

Last year, Ashland said it would spin off its engine lubricants unit into a publicly traded company, Valvoline, as it sheds assets that are not part of its core specialty chemicals business.

The spinoff would help mark the final step in Ashland’s decade-long shift from an oil refiner to a specialty chemicals maker, the company said in September last year.

Reuters could not immediately reach Ashland for comment outside regular business hours. (Reporting by Sneha Teresa Johny in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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