Ashland Looking To Sell Valvoline Division

(Reuters) – U.S. chemical maker Ashland Inc (ASH.N) is looking for buyers for its Valvoline motor-oil division, which could fetch as much as $1 billion, the New York Post said citing sources familiar with the matter.

The first round of bidding took place within the past several days. Prestone and several private-equity firms each made it to the second round, a source told the paper.

Ashland would like to transfer some of its debt to Valvoline as part of the sale, making it easier for private-equity firms to finance the deal, the paper said, citing a source.

An Ashland spokesman declined to comment to the paper on the sale.

Ashland could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters. (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Derek Caney)