Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Valvoline products manufacturer Ashland (NYSE: ASH) were chugging ahead like a well-oiled machine today, gaining as much as 14% in intraday trading on heavy volume.

So what: Typically, when a buyout is announced, it's the stock of the target company that surges. That's not the case with Ashland today, as its stock is reacting to the announced acquisition of privately held International Specialty Products. Ashland plans to pay $3.2 billion in cash for ISP, which focuses on specialty chemicals in industries such as personal care, pharmaceuticals, and energy.

Now what: Strategically, the deal seems like a good one. ISP will give Ashland a strong foothold in faster-growing end markets while continuing the company's quest to refine its focus to specialty chemicals. According to data from Bloomberg, the price looks a bit high at 8.9 times EBITDA versus 7.3 for similar transactions (Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) agreed to pay 7.3 times EBITDA for Lubrizol (NYSE: LZ)). However, Ashland expects that the deal will be immediately accretive to earnings.

As for Ashland itself, it looks like a bargain next to its acquisition, with an EBITDA multiple of 5.5 and a market cap not too far above book value.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.