COVINGTON, Kentucky (

TheStreet

) -- Chemical company

Ashland

(ASH) - Get Report

said Tuesday it will acquire privately owned

International Specialty Products

for about $3.2 billion in cash.

"ISP's advanced product portfolio will expand Ashland's position in high-growth markets such as personal care, pharmaceutical and energy," Ashland said in a statement.

ISP's sales for the year ended March 31 were $1.6 billion.

Ashland said the acquisition is expected to close before the end of the September quarter. The deal should immediately add to Ashland's per-share earnings, the company said.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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