Ashland Inc. on Tuesday announced that its headquarters are moving from Kentucky, where it has for nearly a century been a major corporate presence.
Ashland, once an oil company and now a specialty chemicals company with operations in more than 100 countries, said in a statement that it plans to move its headquarters office from Covington to Wilmington, Delaware within the next 17 months. Ashland’s office in Lexington will be closed.
Ashland was founded in 1924 in Catlettsburg as the Ashland Oil Refining Co. by Paul G. Blazer. Ashland split from the automotive lubricants business Valvoline in 2015.
The Lexington office, which employs 58, will be closed as of Dec. 31, 2019. Ashland’s statement said that some jobs would be eliminated, others relocated to Dublin, Ohio or Wilmington, and some employees would be allowed to work remotely.
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The Covington office will be downsized from 48 employees, with some roles eliminated and others relocated to Dublin or Wilmington. Around 15 jobs will remain in Covington “for a time after the headquarters relocation,” according to Ashland.
Employees whose jobs are eliminated are being offered “enhanced severance benefits,” according to Ashland’s statement. “Our company would not be where we are today without the commitment and support of these colleagues.”
“Decisions like this are always difficult, as they involve talented individuals who have contributed so much to Ashland over the years,” Ashland spokesman Gary Rhodes said in an e-mail.
Ashland’s statement said that it would continue to have workers in Kentucky. Its manufacturing plant in Calvert City, Kentucky in Marshall County employs 515 workers.