media release

Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. offers EUR 230 million for Akzo Nobel Phosphorus Chemicals business

Press Release Akzo Nobel has received an offer from Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. for the sale of its Phosphorus Chemicals business for EUR 230 million, free of cash and debt.

Arnhem, the Netherlands, and New York, April 26, 2004 – Akzo Nobel has received an offer from Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. for the sale of its Phosphorus Chemicals business for EUR 230 million free of cash and debt. The intention to divest this business was announced in September 2003, with the purpose of creating more financial room to maneuver for the Company. Closing of the transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2004. The deal involves all assets and all current employees of the business. Employee representative bodies and unions have been informed and consultation procedures will commence shortly, where applicable. The required regulatory approvals will be sought as and when appropriate. Hans Wijers, Chairman of Akzo Nobel’s Board of Management, said: “This is a further stage in our program to create more financial room to maneuver for the Company and we are pleased with the speed at which we have been able to proceed. The offer fully reflects the value of this excellent business. I am confident that the new owner will continue to develop its value, both in the interests of the business and their new employees.”

Phosphorus Chemicals is an industry leader relative to the worldwide manufacture, distribution and service of organophosphorus flame retardants, plasticizers, and lubricants. Applications include engineered resins, plastics, urethane foams, oil additives, fire-resistant fluids and turbine oils. Products are supplied worldwide from production locations in Germany (Bitterfeld) and the United States (Gallipolis Ferry, West Virginia). The business has approximately 280 employees worldwide and had annual revenues of approximately EUR 187 million in 2003.

Ian Snow, a Managing Director of Ripplewood, said: “We are very pleased with the acquisition of Akzo Nobel's Phosphorus Chemicals business. This transaction will be our second in the specialty chemicals sector, following our exit late last year from a successful investment in KRATON Polymers, which was purchased in 2001 from Royal Dutch Shell. We look forward to achieving similar success with this business.”

John Georges, an Industrial Partner of Ripplewood, said: “We are excited about the growth prospects for the Phosphorus Chemicals business and are impressed by its management team. We look forward to providing the support the business needs to continue to grow and strengthen its position as a global market leader.”


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