Cognis strengthens coatings and synlubes business by strategic acquisition from Degussa

Duesseldorf (ots) - Cognis, a leading international specialty chemicals company, has signed a contract to acquire Laporte Performance Chemicals, a subsidiary of the former Laporte plc, which belongs to Degussa AG. This includes two production and development sites in the UK as well as several distribution companies. A total workforce of 220 are employed at the company, which generated sales totaling GBP 64 million (approx. EUR 95 million) in 2001. By selling the facilities, Degussa follows the European Commission's competition requirements. The contract was signed subject to the approval of the anti-trust authorities.

In the UK, Laporte Performance Chemicals manufactures components for environmentally friendly paint systems, i.e. high-performance automotive paints (hydroxy monomers), as well as synthetic lubricants (polyalkylene glycols). In addition, the company manufactures multifunctional monomers based on acrylates for coatings as well as rubber chemicals and plastic additives based on esters. Laporte maintains a strong position with its products. This acquisition, which includes not only production, but also all company divisions including Sales and Development, clearly strengthens Cognis' commitment in the UK market.

Cognis has based its corporate strategy and its product portfolio on the two trends of "wellness" and "sustainability". With its Care Chemicals and Nutrition & Health business units, Cognis is extremely well prepared for the future market for "wellness" products. In the Functional Products business unit as well as in the Process Chemicals business, Cognis is embracing the global trend towards sustainable products and concepts. The Functional Products business unit includes components for polymers, coatings and inks; lubricant specialties; adjuvants for agrochemicals and fermentation specialties as well as mining chemicals. The acquisition will enable Cognis to expand and supplement this product range and to offer its customers even more complete solutions.

About Cognis:

Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients with almost 9,100 employees in close to 50 countries. The company has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Additionally, Cognis provides solutions for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles and plastics, as well as agrosolutions and mining chemicals.

Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and Schroder Ventures Life Sciences. In 2001, Cognis recorded sales of EUR 3.1 billion and an operating profit of EUR 174 million. A turnover of EUR 2.4 billion was achieved in the first nine months of 2002.


Susanne Marell, Vice President Cognis Corporate Communications,

Cognis Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

Phone: +49-211-7940-5395

e-mail: susanne.marell@cognis.com

Internet: www.cognis.com

Susanne Sengel, Corporate Communications Manager,

Cognis Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

Phone: +49-211-7940-5431

e-mail: susanne.sengel@cognis.com

Internet: www.cognis.com

Guido Willems, Group Vice President Functional Products,

Cognis Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

Phone: +49-211-7940-6133

e-mail: guido.willems@cognis.com

Internet: www.cognis.com