Ashland Takes Over Joint Venture

Hodogaya Ashland imports, markets to Japanese metalcasters

September 26, 2006 -- Ashland Inc. has bought out its partner in a Japanese joint-venture importing and marketing products to the metalcasting industry there. Hodogaya Chemical Company Ltd. had been a 50-50 partner with Ashland's Ashland Casting Solutions in the venture, Hodogaya Ashland Co. Ltd., formed more than 20 years ago.

The value of the stock transaction was not revealed.

Mike Swartzlander, general manager of the Ashland Casting Solutions business unit, and vice president of Ashland Performance Materials, a division of Ashland Inc., stated, “With continued globalization of the metal castings industry, this agreement supports our capabilities to consistently serve our customers wherever they may be in the world.”

HAC's staff now will be Ashland employees, based in new headquarters in Yokohama.

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