media release

Negotiations on the sale of Chefaro completed

Akzo Nobel further focuses its pharma activities on growth engines human healthcare, animal healthcare and biopharmaceuticals

Arnhem, the Netherlands, December 15, 2000. – Akzo Nobel announces that it has completed the negotiations on the sale of its over-the-counter pharmaceuticals business Chefaro. Per January 1, 2001 Chefaro will be consolidated into the Belgium-based pharmaceutical Group Omega Pharma. Omega Pharma will pay EUR 105.7 million cash for Chefaro and will assume EUR 35 million of debt as part of the agreement.

Chefaro develops, manufactures and markets a range of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and diagnostic products, mainly in Europe. It has leading positions in the European pregnancy test market, the French and Spanish liquid skin disinfectant market and the German and Dutch topical muscle pain relief market. Examples of Chefaro’s leading brands are Predictor (Europe – pregnancy test), Davitamon (the Netherlands - vitamins), Jungle Formula (United Kingdom - insect repellent), Ibutop (Germany - topical muscular pain relief), Jouvence de l’Abbé Soury (France - antivaricose) and Septivon (France - skin disinfectants).

Chefaro employs approximately 280 people and sells its products principally through its own direct marketing sales force in the Netherlands, France, UK, Germany, Spain and Belgium. In 1999 Chefaro realized sales of approximately EUR 90 million, 3% of the total sales of Akzo Nobel Pharma.

"Akzo Nobel’s main pharmaceutical activities are focused on R&D driven human healthcare, animal healthcare and biopharmaceuticals production. Therefore we believe that the new owner will offer a more strategic and focused platform for Chefaro’s business. Omega Pharma’s core business is the over-the-counter market, so this agreement will boost Chefaro’s marketing and production potential", says Paul K. Brons, Member of the Board of Management of Akzo Nobel responsible for the pharmaceutical activities. "This agreement may create a true win-win situation: our former employees will be able to work from a broadened and more specialized entrepreneurial platform while Akzo Nobel can further focus on its growth engines human healthcare, animal healthcare and biopharmaceuticals production."

Omega Pharma is a fast growing pharmaceutical company focused on over-the-counter products and business-to-business services to pharmacists. For the year 2000 Omega Pharma expects to realize annual sales of EUR 175 million. The Belgium-based company employs more than 1000 people.

Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings and chemicals. Consolidated sales for 1999 (excluding Acordis) totaled some EUR 12 billion (USD 13 billion, GBP 8 billion). The Company currently employs 68,000 people in 75 countries. Financial results for the year 2000 will be announced on February 23, 2001.

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