COVINGTON, KY. — Ashland Inc. will become one of the world's largest unsaturated polyester and gelcoat makers through its planned acquisition of Neste Polyester SA of Helsinki, Finland.
Terms of the sale, which still needs regulatory approval, were not disclosed. Neste Polyester, a unit of Neste Chemicals Oy, posted sales of about $111 million in 2000. The unit — with plants in the United States, Finland, France, Poland, China and Austria — is the second-largest manufacturer of gelcoats in the world.
Neste Polyester's resins and gelcoats are sold into the marine, building and construction, and transportation industries. Neste parent Nordkemi Group is selling the unit to concentrate on adhesive resins and coating intermediates, Nordkemi executive vice president Kyoto Sysio said.
The deal also expands Ashland's Composite Polymers division throughout Europe, according to Ashland Specialty Chemical Co. President James Duquin. Ashland's Composite Polymers division is included in its Ashland Specialty Chemicals Co. unit, which also runs Ashland's General Polymers resin distribution business. Ashland Inc. is based in Covington.