Ashland, German Firm To Create Joint Venture

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Specialty chemical maker Ashland Inc. said Thursday it will form a 50-50 joint venture to produce foundry chemicals with Germany's Sud-Chemie AG.

The venture, ASK Chemicals GmbH, will be headquartered in Germany. Sud-Chemie will manage operations of the venture, which the companies said will employ about 1,300 people.

Sud-Chemie and Ashland are already partners in Ashland-Sudchemie-Kernfest GmbH, started in 1970. That company will form one of three parts in the new joint venture, with others being Sud-Chemie's specialty resins business and Ashland's casting unit.

The deal is expected to close near the end of the year.

Shares of Ashland fell 84 cents to $47.89 in midday trading.

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