media release Akzo Nobel and BASF to form chelates production joint venture December 19, 2003 Press Release - Akzo Nobel and BASF have announced that they will form a 50-50 equity joint venture to produce chelates in North America. The agreement, subject to closing, is scheduled to be effective February 1, 2004. The joint venture will own and operate Akzo Nobel’s recently upgraded production facilities at Lima, Ohio. The joint venture will sell chelates exclusively to Akzo Nobel and BASF. Sales and marketing of chelates in North America will continue to be separately managed by BASF and Akzo Nobel. Firewalls will ensure complete confidentiality of business and competitive information. “This investment reinforces BASF’s long-term commitment to the North American chelates markets,” said Patrick Prevost, Executive Vice President of BASF Corporation and President of its chemicals businesses in North America. “While Akzo Nobel and BASF will be partners on the production side, we will continue to compete aggressively on the marketing side,” added Gerry Podesta, Group Vice President, Performance Chemicals, for BASF in North America. “We’ll still have different product portfolios, pricing and service levels that will reflect the independent marketing strategies of both companies.” After the completion of a major expansion in 2000 Akzo Nobel further invested in the expansion and modernization of the Lima site. “Key raw material supply over the fence along with our strong investment in manufacturing and technology enable the manufacturing site to meet future production requirements of the joint venture. Customers of both companies will have the benefit of high-quality products made in the state-of-the-art production facilities in Lima,” said Werner Fuhrmann, General Manager for Akzo Nobel’s worldwide Chelates business. “In this way Akzo Nobel fully maintains its capabilities and dedication to the chelates business in the Americas,” said Dag Strömqvist, Member of the Board of Management of Akzo Nobel. Chelates and chelating agents encapsulate metal ions and are used in a very wide range of applications: chemical processes, household cleaning, water treatment, scale prevention, in the paper industry, in photography and agriculture.