media release

Akzo Nobel and PQ Corporation to restructure their Akzo-PQ Silica joint venture

Commenting on PQ’s interest in the remainder of APS, Stan Silverman, President and Chief Executive Officer of PQ Corporation, noted that “The remaining businesses in APS are core to PQ’s activities and their purchase would enhance the leading positions we have built up in a number of sodium silicate and silica-related specialties. This acquisition is in the best long-term interests of the businesses and their employees.”

Commenting on PQ’s interest in the remainder of APS, Stan Silverman, President and Chief Executive Officer of PQ Corporation, noted that “The remaining businesses in APS are core to PQ’s activities and their purchase would enhance the leading positions we have built up in a number of sodium silicate and silica-related specialties. This acquisition is in the best long-term interests of the businesses and their employees.” The APS white fillers business supplies the European market with precipitated silicas to be used as filler material in a variety of products, including paints, paper, and rubber compounds, such as “green” tires. It has a production operation in Düren (Germany), research facilities in Maastricht and a management and sales office in Amersfoort (the Netherlands). The remaining silicate and related APS businesses, located in Amersfoort, Winschoten and Maastricht (the Netherlands), Oslo and Glomfjord (Norway), Karlstad (Sweden), Naantali (Finland), Dehnitz and Worms (Germany), and Vienna (Austria), produce a variety of materials, ranging from spray dried silicate for making consumer detergent tablets to waterglass for industrial applications. The approximately 340 people working at the various APS sites across Europe would transfer with their businesses to either J.M. Huber Corporation or to PQ Corporation as applicable. With respect to both expected transactions, the employee representative bodies and unions have been duly informed and consultation procedures will commence shortly where applicable. The required regulatory approvals will be sought as and when appropriate. Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings, and chemicals. Consolidated sales for 1999, excluding Acordis, the former fibers business divested to CVC Capital Partners at the end of 1999, totaled some EUR 12 billion (USD 13 billion, GBP 8 billion). Excluding Acordis, the company employed 68,000 people in 75 countries at the end of 1999. Financial results for the first quarter of 2000 will be announced on April 25, 2000. PQ Corporation, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is a leading global producer of silica-based industrial and specialty chemicals, and highway safety products. Founded in 1831, PQ is a privately held company whose environmentally friendly products make significant contributions to a variety of products and industries, including detergents, pulp and paper, transportation, construction and food and beverages. With its affiliated companies, PQ Corporation worldwide currently has 67 inorganic chemical and glass-bead plants in 19 countries, and on five continents - North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Founded in 1883, the J.M. Huber Corporation (based in Edison, New Jersey) is a diversified, multinational supplier of engineered materials, natural resources and technology-based services. With global customers spanning many industries ranging from energy to plastics to construction, Huber is one of the largest family-owned companies in America. J.M. Huber focuses on fast, technology-based solutions in inorganic chemistry, 3-D seismic exploration, engineered wood composites and other specialties to solve customers’ problems and create new products with unique properties.

 

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