Ashland Inc. agreed to sell its water technologies unit to private-equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC in a deal valued at about $1.8 billion.

The acquisition should close by Sept. 30, Covington, Kentucky-based Ashland said today in a statement. Net proceeds of about $1.4 billion from the asset sale mostly will be used for share repurchases, Ashland said. It authorized $1.35 billion of stock buybacks, replacing a program with $450 million remaining.

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