media release

Akzo Nobel Shareholders Approve Dividend.

Akzo Nobel will pay a dividend of NLG 2.15 (EUR 0.98) per common share for the year 1998. Of this dividend, NLG 0.65 per share was already paid as an interim dividend in October 1998. The final dividend will thus be NLG 1.50 per share. This final dividend will be made payable from May 10, 1999. The shares of Akzo Nobel on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange will trade ex final dividend on April 26, 1999.

Discussions with Shin-Etsu started in 1998 and the three parties are pleased that final agreement has been reached following intense and complex negotiations. Implementation of the deal will be effective as of January 2000.

“This divestment fits our strategy of concentrating our Chemicals portfolio on high added value businesses in which we have or can achieve a leadership position. Shin-Etsu not only strengthens the position of Rovin but also of our chlor-alkali business on the Rotterdam Botlek site, as we will continue to supply chlorine under a long-term agreement” said Rudy van der Meer, Board Member responsible for Chemicals within Akzo Nobel.

Some 170 employees involved in the Rovin business will transfer to Shin-Etsu under a social protocol agreed with the Labor Unions. The Works Council has given a positive advise.

Shin-Etsu is a world-leading producer of PVC and enjoys strong manufacturing positions in Japan and the U.S. Both Akzo Nobel and Shell are convinced that Shin-Etsu is well placed to develop the Rovin business due to its strategic fit.

Shin-Etsu is an international industrial corporation with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Some of the major businesses of Shin-Etsu are PVC, semiconductor silicon, synthetic quartz, organic silicones, and rare earth magnets. Shin-Etsu is a leading global producer in each of these businesses. Through this acquisition Shin-Etsu also becomes the leading global producer in the PVC business with a total production annual capacity of some 2.6 million tons.

Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings, chemicals, and fibers. The company currently employs approximately 83,000 people in almost 70 countries. Consolidated sales for 1998 totaled EUR 12.5 billion (NLG 27.5 billion, USD 13.8 billion, GBP 8.4 billion). The financial results for the year 1999 will be announced on February 25, 2000. Demerger of Acordis will be effective as of year-end 1999.

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