10/25/2004 Rhodia

Rhodia Polyamide announces the building of a new State-of-the-Art engineering plastics Plant in China

Today, Rhodia Polyamide has announced its decision to build a new engineering plastics compounding facility at its Shanghai site in China.

This new facility reinforces Rhodia Polyamide's commitment to growth in China and more generally in Asia. Rhodia Polyamide will have the expertise to produce the full spectrum of compounded products including Technyl® PA6, PA66 and PA 66/6, Technyl StarTM, as well as Technyl® Alloy and other engineering thermoplastics.

"This investment is a major component of Rhodia's strategy to focus resources in key markets, and illustrates Rhodia Engineering Plastics' commitment to its customers in Asia" said Jean-Claude Steinmetz, vice-president, Rhodia Polyamide.

The new facility is designed to accommodate future Chinese production requirements that are anticipated to grow at approximately 20% per year. The new compounding plant will produce approximately 40 000 T at full capacity and further confirms Rhodia Polyamide's commitment to maintaining a leadership position in Engineering Plastics.

Strategically located on a Rhodia Shanghai shared site which includes a strong research and development centre and sales and marketing organisation. The new facility will take full advantage of the synergies between other Rhodia activities and offer strong product quality, services and competitiveness.

Rhodia Engineering Plastics is one of Rhodia Polyamide activities. Headquartered in Lyon, France, Rhodia Engineering Plastics is the world wide specialist in polyamide engineering thermoplastic materials. The company has a sales network that spans the world, with manufacturing plants and technical development centers in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. For further details about the Company, visit
Rhodia Engineering Plastics' website at www.rhodia-ep.com

Rhodia is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals. Providing a wide range of innovative products and services to the consumer care, food, industrial care, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, automotive, electronics and fibers markets, Rhodia offers its customers tailor-made solutions based on the cross-fertilization of technologies, people and expertise. Rhodia subscribes to the principles of Sustainable Development communicating its commitments and performance openly with stakeholders. Rhodia generated net sales of Euro5.5 billion in 2003 and employs 23,000 people worldwide. Rhodia is listed on the Paris and New York stock exchanges.


Rhodia Opens Its New EP Plant in China

On May 18, 2005 Rhodia Polyamide has celebrated the groundbreaking of its new engineering plastics compounding facility at its Shanghai site in China.

Platts 2003/1/3

Rhodia completes sale of European chemicals unit to Bain

French specialty chemicals maker Rhodia SA, has completed the sale of its European basic chemicals unit to investment firm Bain Capital Ltd for an undisclosed amount, the company announced Friday.
The European Union had approved of the deal in December following a definitive agreement from both companies on Nov 4 last year. The assets sold comprise Rhodia's European phenol, hydrochloric acid and soda ash activities. The disposal has allowed Rhodia to exceed its target of selling Eur500-mil ($519-mil) worth of non-core assets to cut debt and focus on specialty chemicals business. The unit sold employs 460 people and has an annual revenue of around Eur280-mil. Rhodia will hold a 20% stake in the new company which will own the basic chemicals businesses sold.

Platts 2003/8/11

Rohm&Haas opens $20-mil Indian adhesives, sealants, coatings site

Rohm and Haas Co inaugurated Monday a $20-mil adhesives and sealants and coatings manufacturing and technical service facility in Taloja, India. Raj Gupta, chairman and CEO of Rohm and Haas Company USA, inaugurated the new facility in the presence of US Consul General, Angus Simmons, local officials and senior company representatives. The plant will have a production capacity of 25,000 to 35,000 mt/yr of adhesives and coatings polymers.


A long-standing chemical company - now part of the new Aventis

Just before the dawn of the year 2000 a new Strasbourg-based life sciences company, Aventis, joined the global players on the world stage. Aventis is the offshoot of the merger between the French chemical company Rhone-Poulenc and Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft of Frankfurt am Main. It is an international alliance of innovative companies whose interests are focused first and foremost on the various areas of the life sciences, notably drugs, agriculture/nutrition and animal health. Ever since 1997 Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft, as a strategic management holding company, had formed the umbrella over the many different Group companies of the old Hoechst AG, each of which traded independently on the world's markets with its own logo and corporate design.

Where its operating business is concerned, the new Aventis S.A. likewise stays very much in the background behind the individual companies of the Group. This strategic arrangement makes for high flexibility, which enables the individual Group companies to respond rapidly to the ever-changing conditions of future markets. With its corporate structure and revised portfolio, Aventis S.A. has thus created the necessary conditions to propel it into the next millennium. The following historical review looks at one of the partners in this large-scale merger. Under a succession of company names, all linked with the Frankfurt suburb of Hochst, that partner has been making history in the chemical industry ever since its modest inception in 1863.

The company existing until 1999 as
Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft was established in Frankfurt am Main only some fifty years ago. On December 7, 1951 it came into being under the name of "Farbwerke Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft vormals Meister Lucius & Bruning". Six years after the catastrophe of the Second World War and less than three years since the founding of the German Federal Republic, they were difficult times for any company to begin operations. The original capital sum gives an indication: it was a mere DM 100,000. But, although newly founded, the company could build on a long tradition of research and development with first-class products.

The inclusion of the word "Farbwerke" (dyeworks) in the fledgling company's name reflected the main activity of its predecessors, who had permanently changed the colorful world of dyes after the middle of the nineteenth century. Dye manufacture had soon been joined by industrial chemistry and life sciences in the form of pharmaceuticals and fertilizers. The long and varied history of the chemical companies associated with the name of Hoechst includes many highlights but also records setbacks and low points. To a large extent the development of Hoechst also reflects that of the world economy, with its cycles, levels of business activity and crises, as well as political, social and cultural influences. The following summary of the Company's history since 1951 and right back to the Industrial Revolution briefly encapsulates some 150 years of chemical manufacture associated with the name of Hoechst.

Beginnings in the Industrial Revolution
The year 1863 saw the formation of a company known as "Theerfarbenfabrik Meister, Lucius & Co." at Hochst am Main. It was a time when the Industrial Revolution in Germany had reached its first peak. Britain, in about 1760, and France, since the French Revolution, had experienced this transition from agricultural countries with craftsmen and cottage industries into modern industrial nations much earlier. In Germany, however, political fragmentation, the absence of a unified economic structure and rigid adherence to old production methods had largely prevented any comparable development earlier on.

Since the 1830s, however, some industrialization had been taking place in the Germanic Confederation. Though sporadic and regional at first, it gradually spread and gathered pace. The reasons for this are remarkably varied. The progressive abolition of customs barriers between the constituents of the Germanic Confederation and the creation of an improved transport infrastructure through the construction of long-distance highways and an efficient rail network did much to encourage the industrialization process.

As in Britain, France and Belgium, however, the driving forces behind industrial development in Germany were the coal, steel and textile industries. The invention of the steam engine and mechanical loom can be seen as the milestones of the Industrial Revolution in Europe since the end of the 18th century. They led to the development of mining, as well as an iron manufacturing and processing industry on the one hand, and to greatly increased productivity and increased sales opportunities in the textile industry on the other. From the middle of that century onwards the burgeoning chemical industry was closely associated with both of these industrial sectors. The waste products of coal from the coking plants, namely coal tar and the aniline oil derived from it, supplied the raw material for synthetic "coal tar dyes", whose production had become possible in 1856. The textile industry opened up a vast sales market for these dyes, which could be manufactured at low cost.

Any young chemist would have regarded working with the new synthetic dyes as a scientific challenge. But between 1860 and 1862 it was this same sense of challenge that also prompted Dr. Eugen Lucius, the descendant of an old Erfurt mercantile family, to consider setting up a factory for the new "coal tar dyes". After modest beginnings in a factory specially acquired for the first experience with the new dyes in Frankfurt am Main, "Meister, Lucius & Co." was established at Hochst am Main" at the start of 1863. The present-day Hoechst AG continues the tradition of that company.

What Eugen Lucius founded was purely a family enterprise. His partner was Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Meister, a businessman from Hamburg who was also the brother-in-law of Lucius's wife. The third joint owner, Ludwig August Muller, was uncle to the wives of both Meister and Lucius. It was largely by chance that the three men had come into contact through the marriages to two daughters of the Frankfurt painter Jakob Becker. When Lucius made the acquaintanceship of the others, a joint company was soon established. At the very beginning of their venture the three were joined by a former fellow-student of Eugen Lucius, the chemist Adolf Bruning, who became technical director of the new company. It was he, together with Meister and Lucius, who was destined to be the leading light during the first two decades of the dyeworks in Hochst. For this reason and because of the fact that he bought out Ludwig August Muller when the latter withdrew at the end of 1865, Bruning is rightly considered as one of the factory's founders.

Why choose Hochst?
At first glance the small town of Hochst am Main in the still purely agricultural principality of Nassau may seem a strange choice as a site for the new factory. All the more so, since none of the company's founders had any direct links with the place. On occasions, however, the Lucius family did have business and personal dealings with one Balthasar Schweitzer, a timber merchant living in Hochst who helped Lucius purchase the site needed for the factory. Hochst at that time was anything but an early center of industry. Admittedly, the township was described as a place of great commercial activity in the early 19th century, but such a description counted for little in such an economically underdeveloped area as the Principality of Nassau then was.

For Meister and Lucius, Hochst had three clear advantages: it was close to their homes in Frankfurt am Main, where establishing a factory would have been fraught with problems because of the anti-industrial sentiment still prevailing at the time. Yet there was obviously much to be said for setting up a factory so close to what was already an important commercial and financial center. Secondly, the backwardness of Hochst meant that there was land available at low cost, and overmanning in the local craft trades offered a large potential pool of labor, which must have made Hochst seem a far cheaper location for the factory than "expensive" Frankfurt.

The main reason, however, may well have been the excellent location of Hochst from the viewpoint of economic geography. The town was situated on the highway from Frankfurt to Mainz, one of the main east-west links in central Europe at that time. The River Main was not only a traffic route for the inward and outward transport of numerous products; it also supplied the water so important to the operation of the factory. In addition, as already mentioned, Hochst had been linked since 1839 to what was in those days the latest form of transport: the railway. All those advantages still hold good today and are now augmented by the site's proximity to Frankfurt am Main Airport, a key interchange point on the world's air transport network.

Despite those benefits and the enterprise displayed by the founders, it was no easy matter to launch a production facility for the new synthetic dyes. Expectations of good sales potentials and large profits were tempting, and research into those dyes was scientifically very rewarding and afforded undreamed-of possibilities, but competition was enormous. The dates when the largest German chemical companies were founded are all clustered together in the 1860s. The factories in Offenbach, Frankfurt-Griesheim and Wiesbaden were also established in the middle of the 19th century and some predate the Hochst site. Indeed, it was at Offenbach that Germany's first coal tar distillation plant was set up in 1842.

The first step is always the hardest
Faced with the pressure of competition and the challenge of working in new fields, Meister, Lucius & Co. didn't move straight into profit. Major successes in the development and sale of new dyes with improved properties were not enough to keep it out of the red, and it was only after the first two years that profits first exceeded the substantial initial investment. From the very outset, though, the development of the "dyeworks" at Hochst was influenced by a number of factors that were destined to guarantee commercial success throughout the Company's history. Among them were some outstanding individual personalities who combined the researcher's drive with sound business acumen and played a major part in research right from the beginning. Never satisfied with what they had achieved, they were raising their sights above the narrow horizons of the local region within a matter of months in order to focus on the sales markets of the whole world. This approach to business with an eye to the future went hand-in-hand with an awareness of current problems, especially in the social sphere.

This first period in the history of Hoechst AG lasted for roughly ten years. Within a few years the company was making good profits, and the small dyeworks which had begun in 1863 with five production workers, one chemist and an office clerk expanded rapidly. Consequently, in 1869 the factory moved from its first site directly beneath the town walls of Hochst to brand-new premises built on modern principles about a kilometer further to the west. By 1874 the relocation of the factory was complete. For almost a century the new site provided the space needed for further expansion of the Hochst facilities.

As soon as the works had been relocated the founders also improved the employees' social benefits. Ever since the company had begun operations in the old factory the hygiene and healthy diet of the workforce had been considered matters of paramount importance. A works kitchen and bathing facilities were therefore an integral part of the plant, as was the medical care of its employees. After 1874 a large-scale house-building program was embarked on, and by 1914 some 1400 perfectly designed residential units had already been erected, nearly all of them detached and semi-detached houses with gardens.

From dyeworks to chemical company
Till the 1880s Hoechst remained just a dyeworks. The range of synthetic dyes was constantly being expanded, and soon the factory was making a number of precursor products that it had purchased from outside sources during the first few years. Then the company changed its legal form and rapidly altered its structure. In 1880 the general commercial partnership was converted into a modern joint stock company under the name "Farbwerke vorm. Meister Lucius & Bruning", and from 1888 onwards its shares were traded on the stock exchange. Despite this the founders and their families retained a majority of the equity until the establishment of I.G. Farbenindustrie AG in 1925. From 1881 onwards, inorganic acids were manufactured in the Hochst factory itself. Finally, in 1883 pharmaceuticals, too, were supplied as new end products. One of the very first, "Antipyrin", proved highly successful for treating fever and flu-like infections. This was the drug that established the excellent reputation of Hoechst pharmaceuticals throughout the world.

The dyeworks had evolved into a chemical company. This development ushered in one of the illustrious periods in the history of Hoechst, which continued until 1914 when it was brought to a sudden end by the outbreak of the First World War. During that time the range of dyes was constantly expanded. Among the new colorants the first organic pigments gained immense importance, but even that was overshadowed by the industrial synthesis of indigo, which had been achieved by researchers after twenty years' of tremendous effort. With their 90-percent share of the world market, German dye manufacturers had a virtual monopoly at a time when Hoechst itself was exporting 88 percent of its dyes all over the world.

The situation in the pharmaceuticals sector was very similar. Germany was the pharmacy of the world. On the research front, Hoechst already had a long history of close cooperation with the universities. The peaks of achievement in the pharmaceuticals field before the First World War were marked by the company's collaboration with the Nobel Prize winners Robert Koch, Emil von Behring and Paul Ehrlich. It was during that period that Hoechst set up its own sero-bacteriological department. The world's first synthesis of a hormone, produced by Robert Stolz, also took place at Hoechst, and Paul Ehrlich's Salvarsan, the world's first drug for syphilis, marked the beginning of modern chemotherapy.

Worldwide successes
Meanwhile Hoechst had expanded beyond Germany's frontiers, and not only in its role as an exporter. Its first production facility on foreign soil had been opened in Moscow as early as 1878. Faced by a policy of protective tariffs and restrictive patent legislation in some European nations, the company was forced to set up branches in those countries in order to gain access to their home markets and the economic areas under their control. In 1883 a production unit was commissioned at Creil to the north of Paris, and in 1908 it was followed by one at Ellesmere Port near Manchester. The latter gave Hoechst a manufacturing presence in the British Empire. By then the company had gained an international character, not only from the sale of its products but also through its entrepreneurial approach.

In Germany, too, Hoechst had expanded beyond its original main site. In 1900 work commenced on the erection of the Gersthofen plant near Augsburg. The plan was to use hydroelectric power generated on the River Lech for indigo production. Even more important was Hoechst's cooperation with other chemical companies. In Frankfurt, Hoechst and Cassella joined forces as early on as 1904, while rejecting merger plans put forward by Carl Duisberg of Bayer. In 1907, Kalle in Wiesbaden joined the Group. Elsewhere in the industry a similar plan for cooperation had been agreed on by BASF, Bayer and Agfa. The time was not yet ripe for the advent of I.G. Farbenindustrie AG. Even before the First World War, however, Hoechst was already showing an interest in the Knapsack company near Cologne.

The Golden Jubilee of "Farbwerke, vorm. Meister Lucius & Bruning" at Hochst am Main in 1913 was an opportunity for the company to look back at its growth with pride. Annual sales were running at more than 100 million marks, and the Hoechst parent site alone had a workforce of approximately 9,000. Nothing seemed capable of slowing down the prodigious growth rate. But in fact the first shadows were drifting across the auspicious scene, heralding dangers that those involved were slow to recognize. The death of the company's dynamic general director Gustav von Bruning before the age of fifty in that same year marked the start of the founding families' withdrawal from the company's management. Even more disastrous for the chemical industry, geared up so completely to exports, was the outbreak of the First World War, which in August 1914 transformed Europe into a battlefield of previously unknown ferocity and also wreaked immense damage on the development of the chemical industry.

War and crises
The start of the First World War brought with it a long period of reverses for Hoechst, as for the vast majority of Germany's chemical industry. Repeatedly interspersed by prospects of better times, those reverses finally ended some years after the Second World War with the creation of a completely new "Farbwerke Hoechst AG vormals Meister Lucius & Bruning" in 1951. There were plenty of successes during that intervening period, but many projects that began in a spirit of optimism were held back by the political and economic conditions of the inter-war years and later also by the overriding interests of a larger corporate organization, which used the results for the benefit of other sites.

The coming difficulties were already apparent by the outbreak of the First World War. A large proportion of the workforce left their workplaces for the trenches. The market for dyes, nearly all of which were exported, collapsed totally as a result of the British sea blockade. Only a few special products reached overseas customers, sometimes by such enterprising means as merchant submarines. Instead, armaments production was extended into the factories of the chemical industry on the instructions of the German Ministry of War. Hoechst was no exception. In many cases explosives and military gases came off the production lines instead of dyes, drugs and fertilizers. It was during those war years that the large plants for the manufacture of potassium nitrate, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate were erected - plants that remained landmarks in the northwestern area of the Hochst site for several decades.

During the war the representatives of the chemical industry in Germany realized that conditions afterwards, no matter how the war ended, would never match the golden years before 1914. Very soon after the start of hostilities the industry's patents, trademarks and factories in countries at war with Germany were sequestrated. To make matters worse, those countries were forced to build up their own dye and drugs industries in order to compensate for the lack of supplies from Germany. It was obvious that these new industries would continue to exist after the war and compete against the German chemical industry on the world market. The stage would be set for fierce, predatory price-cutting. By 1916, therefore, the large groupings in the chemical industry, namely Hoechst-Cassella-Kalle and BASF-Bayer-Agfa, banded together along with Griesheim and Weiller-ter Meer to create a syndicate in the form of a cartel. Though the individual companies remained legally independent, they took joint decisions on matters of importance, such as raw materials procurement, product range control and sales strategies.

The problems were further exacerbated by the Versailles Treaty of 1919. Having already lost its patents and foreign production facilities, the company now had to hand over large quantities of drugs and dyes as war reparations. To compound matters there was a shortage of raw materials, especially coal, and the Hochst site was occupied by French troops. The complex political reorganization in Germany, the transition from wartime to peacetime production and rapidly spiraling inflation all cast their shadows over the development of the chemical industry in the post-war years. At Hoechst, however, it was also a time of major successes. A wide range of fertilizers based on nitric acid went into production, the first crop protection agents were made available and Novalgin was developed from its predecessors, Antipyrin and Pyramidon. Thanks to its own long history of research in the insulin field, it was Hoechst that received the first license in Germany to manufacture insulin, which had been discovered by Canadian researchers. Those were the days, too, when Peter Behrens erected Hoechst's Technical Administration Building, one of Germany's most notable industrial buildings of that period. For many years the tower and bridge of the Behrens building featured on the company's logo.

I.G.Farbenindustrie AG
Despite those encouraging signs the German chemical industry had no alternative but to form an even closer grouping. In 1925 the syndicate of 1916 merged to create a new company known as I. G. Farbenindustrie AG. Its headquarters were in Frankfurt am Main. Following a perceptible sales drop in all of the original companies and also the pressures of the world economic crisis from 1929 onwards, the company was forced to merge production facilities, grasp the nettle of radical rationalization and lay off large numbers of employees in the individual works. During the two decades when the Hochst site belonged to I.G. Farben it lost large sections of its dye range but gained fresh impetus expanding its pharmaceuticals, crop protection agents, solvents and synthetic resins activities. The 1940s saw the start of highly promising research work into penicillin production, and it was only the outcome of the war in 1945 that thwarted the planned erection of a production plant for this new drug. Eventually the plans were implemented under changed conditions, but not until 1950.

I.G. Farbenindustrie AG concentrated its efforts on expanding new sectors such as synthetic rubber, methanol, synthetic gasoline, light metals and synthetic fibers. Most of the facilities for these products were located at new plants benefiting from low-cost energy supplies in central Germany, the Ruhr and later also in Upper Silesia. As a result the old parent works of the founding companies on the Main and Rhine found themselves sidelined to some extent and had difficulty maintaining their positions in the overall corporate structure. The Hochst site was no exception. Although still the leading works of a joint operation comprising several factories in the central Rhine area, it had to defend its position.

The part played by I.G. Farbenindustrie AG in Germany is often associated with the economic policies and crimes of the Nazis in the Third Reich. In fact, it was only in the final one-third of I.G. Farben's twenty-year history that the National Socialist regime exerted any heightened influence on the company. I.G. Farbenindustrie AG with its international outlook was totally opposed in its interests to the National Socialists' narrow-minded attempts at self-sufficiency. But the regime was interested in I.G. Farben's new developments such as synthetic rubber and synthetic gasoline. As those products were of great strategic value to Adolf Hitler's war plans, cooperation between some sections of I.G. Farben and the Reich Government was gradually intensified. Then, in 1936, as part of the four-year plan, the company became largely dependent on the Nazi regime and this led to its ill-fated involvement in Nazi crimes.

Repercussions of the Nazi dictatorship
After 1933 everyday life in the factories, too, came increasingly under the influence of the new rulers. I.G. Farbenindustrie AG was no more able to divorce itself from developments in Germany than the other branches of industry. Nearly all other walks of life were affected as well. The economic preparations for the Second World War and the subsequent war economy had a far-reaching effect on both I.G. Farben and its factories. It was during the war years that the darkest chapters in the company's history were written. As in industry generally, prisoners of war, foreign workers and forced laborers were used at all of the sites. It was those workers, and most particularly the concentration camp inmates from Auschwitz, who built the vast Buna plant in Monowitz in Polish Upper Silesia. Only a few survived the brutality.

There were fewer evident signs of the war at Hochst than at other sites. Virtually none of the production at Hochst was vital to the war effort, which is why neither the site nor the town was bombed apart from a few isolated attacks. The shortage of workers, however, meant that prisoners of war, foreign workers and forced laborers from numerous European countries were drafted in. More than five thousand of them were put to work at the Hochst site. When US troops entered Hochst at the end of March 1945 they found the production plants almost undamaged. Another reason why the site was not bombed has since been established: the Americans had already decided during the war to use the site for their own purposes once it had been captured. When this happened, important units of the US military administration made Hochst their headquarters. After the Allies issued their order to break up I.G. Farbenindustrie AG in 1945, the Hochst site continued under US administration until 1951.

At the end of the war the Allies had already decided that I.G. Farbenindustrie AG should cease to exist. The company's assets were confiscated and the individual sites were placed under military administration. The Americans' intentions were even more radical. The Hochst site, which had grown up over more than seventy years, was to be split into a number of independent units. The plan was for approximately five separate factories, including a drugs manufacturer, a dye company and a fertilizer producer, for instance. But the idea proved impracticable and was abandoned by 1947 in favor of other plans. The dismemberment of I.G. Farben then became a matter of creating completely new, viable and competitive companies in the tradition of those that existed before I.G. Farbenindustrie AG was established in 1925.

At the end of the difficult dismemberment process the new "Farbwerke Hoechst AG vormals Meister Lucius & Bruning", now Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft, came into being on December 7, 1951. The five founders were independent personalities from German business life with untainted personal backgrounds. All were appointed in consultation with the Federal German Government by the representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the Allied High Commission, the body that succeeded the Allied Military Government. I.G. Farben continued in existence as I.G. Farbenindustrie i.L. (in liquidation) but this was solely to facilitate the settlement of long-standing claims by creditors and aggrieved parties from the pre-1945 period. It had no legal links with the new companies.

A new company
The nineteen-fifties and sixties were decades marked by meteoric growth. Under the new tower-and-bridge logo introduced between 1947 and 1951, Hoechst entered a period in its history marked first by its reappearance on the German market and then by its single-minded achievement in reaching the ranks of the world's foremost chemical companies. The year 1950 saw the commissioning of the penicillin plant even before the company's re-establishment the following year. In fact, it was the opening of this plant, with its capacity to supply the entire German market, which set the rapid growth process in motion. Ethylene replaced acetylene as the raw material basis for production activities and the era of petro-chemistry, polymers, plastic films and fibers began. Undreamed-of prospects were opened up by the development of plastics from substitutes of limited usefulness into high-grade materials with properties not provided by nature. In the fibers sector "Trevira" became a trademark synonymous with high quality and was associated with a wide range of products. "Trevira" goods extended from extravagant fashion to high-tenacity industrial fibers with extremely high load-bearing properties and a variety of uses. There were also the many different high-grade "Hosta" products and raw materials adopted for everyday consumer goods without which our life is now almost inconceivable.

The company grew not only from within by enhanced performance in research and development, production and sales. It soon expanded outwardly as well, with a number of other sites and participating interests. Before the fifties were over, Chemische Fabrik Griesheim, Naphtol-Chemie Offenbach, Kalle in Wiesbaden, Knapsack, Bobingen and Behringwerke in Marburg had all become part of Hoechst. Among its many other participating interests were Wacker-Chemie in Munich and the chemical plant construction company Uhde in Dortmund. In 1964, Chemische Werke Albert in Wiesbaden joined Hoechst, and the acquisition of Adolf Messer GmbH led to the establishment of Messer Griesheim. Finally, in 1970 came the final stage in the share-out of the operating assets formerly owned by I.G. Farbenindustrie AG. Hoechst was given a majority holding in Cassella AG in the Fechenheim district of Frankfurt am Main. From the 1960s onwards the company's growth in Germany was matched by a much-increased commitment to the leading markets elsewhere in the world. One example of the many newly established enterprises and takeovers can be mentioned here: the acquisition of a majority holding in the French partner Roussel-Uclaf in Paris by 1974. This move gave Hoechst a partner with excellent prospects.

When "Farbwerke Hoechst AG vormals Meister Lucius & Bruning" adopted the new name "Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft" in 1974, it was more than just a practical updating of a rather long-winded company title. Over the many years since its re-establishment in 1951 the company had shown itself willing to take risks and was now enjoying the resulting success. This had first turned it into a large German chemical company with worldwide activities, but by 1974 it had become an international company with headquarters in Germany. The one-time exporter of what are now called process and performance products had grown into a worldwide company practicing a sophisticated global division of labor. By then it maintained research and development, production and sales facilities in many countries of the world.

Constant striving for innovation and success
Far from being some abstract concept, an industrial company is the sum total of its employees' efforts. Consequently, a good social policy has been an indispensable part of Hoechst's corporate culture since the earliest times. When the company first developed a social policy in the 19th century, the policy was determined by the factory owners' ideas on welfare. The tradition of good social benefits for employees has remained unchanged to this day, but the nature of the benefits has altered. The main objectives today are to encourage self-help and support employees' own efforts to safeguard their living standards. Unilateral payments to employees have long since been replaced by plans enabling the workforce to acquire personal assets through employee shares and performance-related annual bonuses, as well as financing assistance for the purchase of private housing. At the same time new pay-scale structures, continuation training facilities and personnel development measures have broken down old structures and opened up new career opportunities for many employees. Companies in the Hoechst Group are also changing their social policies to meet the challenges of the future.

At the beginning of the nineteen-seventies the company's organizational structure, too, was adapted to the requirements of the world market. One surviving feature of the long-forgotten I.G. era was the continuing separation of the areas of activity into branches. The rearrangement of those areas into divisions and corporate service departments gave them greater mobility and hence also the chance to respond faster to market requirements. The new organizational structure was soon put to the test. When the oil crisis of the seventies gave rise to the fiber crisis, immense efforts were needed to restore the sector's profitability. The first half of the following decade, too, was marked by setbacks in the level of business activity and sales problems. Not until the end of the eighties did success return in the form of good sales and profits figures.

But impressive balance sheets and large profits can't be taken for granted and are no guarantees of future success. Companies that have grown up over more than a hundred years are now being faced by rapid changes in general economic conditions the world over. These companies are having to adapt in a continuing process so that their response is not only reactive but also proactive. It means getting directly involved in plotting the future course for the company, its owners and its employees. Innovation cycles are growing ever shorter, while development times for new products remain long and crises in business activity continue to occur with unfailing regularity. The message for unwieldy organizations - which is what large, globally active companies are by nature - is that they need permanent restructuring to allow a rapid response to market and customer demands, and a response with the right products. Starting in April 1994, the "Aufbruch '94" reorganization was the most radical ever undertaken in the long history of Hoechst AG.

Into the next Millennium
The main thinking behind "Aufbruch '94" was to simplify Hoechst's vast organization of around 170,000 employees so that decentralization, transparency and shorter lines of decision would allow far greater flexibility, productivity and an improved overview of all activities in the company. Alignment with the market, greater proximity to customers, dismantling of superfluous or overgrown administrative units and intensified networking and communication both inwards and outwards were all embarked on, not as one-off measures but as a process aimed at a lasting renewal of the company. This was accompanied by radical internationalization of the company, which has completely transformed the character of Hoechst despite its presence on the world market for more than a hundred years.

It was back in 1987 that
Hoechst took over the American Celanese Corporation and merged it with the old American Hoechst Corporation. This strengthening of the company's position on the American market was followed in 1995 by the purchase of the American pharmaceutical company Marion Merrell. It set in motion the most comprehensive revision of Hoechst's portfolio of holdings in its long history. Jurgen Dormann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Hoechst AG since April 1994, had announced clear objectives when he took office: to concentrate on the core sectors of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and industrial chemicals, to strengthen the company's position in the most important markets and growth regions in North America, Europe and Asia, and to withdraw from sectors where Hoechst was not among the world's major suppliers. Participating interests such as Uhde, Riedel-de Haen, Hoechst Ceramtec and Herberts were sold; specialty chemicals were spun off into Clariant; subsidiaries such as Cassella and Behring were consolidated into Hoechst AG and Hoechst Marion Roussel respectively; and purchases, joint ventures and strategic alliances were embarked on in the core fields of activity. The final move was the spin-off of the remaining chemicals business into Celanese AG in the form of a demerger, thereby completing the radical realignment with the life sciences and at the same time clearing the way for the merger with Rhone-Poulenc to form Aventis.

After 1994, Hoechst was first transformed from a centralized concern into the strategic management holding mentioned at the beginning, in which the group companies, participating interests and joint ventures enjoyed a maximum degree of independence and freedom in decision-making. This allowed them to concentrate entirely on their customers and operating business. In 1997 the transformation had come to a temporary conclusion but left the door open for further adaptations to market conditions and new customer requirements. This outward focus on customers was reflected inside the company by the total involvement of all employees in "their" company's objectives. Creativity and motivation of the individual were supported and strengthened, as was teamwork. Integrated thinking in processes was encouraged instead of rigid structures, as were personal responsibility and the feeling that all of the company's activity was directed to a global purpose.

As a result, the customers benefited from an increase in the quality of products and service provided by the individual companies of the Hoechst Group, and a new group culture was established. Within its varied aspects, both national attributes and corporate cultures - European, American and Asian - all combined in pursuing joint objectives. The merger with Rhone-Poulenc to form the new Aventis company therefore represented no more than a logical step towards creating a company of world status: a company dedicated to life sciences and possessing both the competence and capacities to meet whatever future challenges the markets afford.

In the year 2000, fifty years after its foundation, the Aventis company created by the merger of Hoechst and Rhône-Poulenc is no longer a German chemical company with sites in many countries of the world. It is an internationally active group of companies with many of its roots in Germany and France and its headquarters is in the European city of Strasbourg. The new group employs a centralized management structure for finance, personnel and communications but combines this with clearly defined decentralized operating responsibility in the group companies, which are legally and operationally independent. This applies in particular to Aventis Pharma in Frankfurt am Main and Aventis Crop Sciences in Lyons. By adopting this structure, like some other companies of its size, Aventis is pioneering a new approach to business operations.

The future is going to be determined by the globalization of competition, the growing importance of the whole Asian area, the appearance of new competitors in the emerging markets such as China and eastern Europe, a progressive concentration of suppliers and a further shortening of innovation cycles. Drawing momentum from the developments of its predecessors, the growth of Hoechst AG since 1951 has been marked by the successful achievements of eminent personalities and outstanding attainments in the fields of science, medicine and technology. The main driving force behind these endeavors has always been an urge to serve mankind and to safeguard and further develop the conditions on which human life is based. This is the philosophy of the new Aventis company as it confronts the challenges of the present and helps to shape and safeguard the future for coming generations.



Rhone-Poulenc Shareholders Overwhelmingly Approve Final Steps of Merger with Hoechst -Supervisory Board members appointed - Full Listing on World Stock Exchanges on December 20

(Paris and Frankfurt, December 15, 1999) --- Aventis, a new world leader in life sciences, was created today, December 15, 1999, following a meeting of Rhone-Poulenc shareholders who approved by an overwhelming majority (97.1%) the final steps required to complete the merger between Hoechst AG and Rhone-Poulenc S.A.

All shares of Aventis will begin trading on the Paris and Frankfurt stock exchanges as of December 20, 1999 under the common symbol "AVE" as well as on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American Depository Shares.
In a joint statement, Jurgen Dormann, designated Chairman of Aventis and Jean-Rene Fourtou, designated Vice-Chairman of Aventis, commented: "Today Aventis becomes reality. We would like to acknowledge the confidence shown in us by our respective shareholders and, in addition, we want particularly to thank our 90,000 employees whose dedication in the past months has made possible the creation of a new world leader in life sciences. The work achieved over the past months means that Aventis is fully operational and ready to go".
They added: "Aventis will benefit from great competitive assets: substantial research and development resources, a highly promising pipeline, among the most powerful sales and marketing capabilities in the world, and a number of recently launched innovative products, the full potential of which has still to be fully leveraged".

Key resolutions approved
These included:
The appointment of five members of the Supervisory Board of Aventis, nominated by Rhone-Poulenc: Jean-Marc Bruel, Serge Kampf, Didier Pineau-Valencienne, Michel Renault and Marc Vienot. The five members of the Board nominated by Hoechst have already been appointed. They are: Dr. Martin Fruhauf, Professor Hubert Markl, Dr. Gunter Metz, Miss Seham Razzouqi and Dr. Hans-Jurgen Schinzler.

The contribution of the Hoechst shares and the Gallus shares tendered in connection with the public exchange offer and adoption of the related increase in capital stock.
The total number of Aventis shares outstanding after the shareholder vote approving the increase in capital stock is 778 million shares.

Building on Positions of Strength
Aventis brings together the innovative strength and global reach of Hoechst and Rhone-Poulenc. Each drawing on more than one hundred years of history, the combination of the two companies through a merger of equals has created a world leader in pharmaceuticals and agriculture. Through these two core businesses, Aventis aims to improve the quality of life around the world by providing leading edge answers to two fundamental human needs - health and nutrition.
Incorporated in France, with corporate headquarters in Strasbourg, France, Aventis counts 90,000 employees in 150 countries worldwide.

Aventis has top rankings in both pharmaceuticals and agriculture and a research and development budget of some 2.8 billion, the largest in the industry.

Aventis Pharma
Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany and with 1998 proforma sales of 13.1 billion, the pharmaceuticals business of Aventis comprises:
・ Aventis Pharma, combining the prescription pharmaceuticals businesses of Hoechst Marion Roussel and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer;
・ Aventis Pasteur, human vaccines (formerly Pasteur Merieux Connaught);
・ Aventis Behring, therapeutic proteins (formerly the 50/50 joint venture Centeon, owned by Hoechst and Rhone-Poulenc);
・ and diagnostics, through a 51.8% stake in Dade Behring .

Aventis Agriculture
Headquartered in Lyon, France, and with 1998 proforma sales of 4.7 billion, the agricultural arm of Aventis comprises three businesses:
・ Aventis CropScience (the combination of the crop protection, crop production and seeds businesses of Rhone-Poulenc Agro and AgrEvo, in which Schering AG will hold a 24% stake);
・ Aventis Animal Nutrition (nutritional feed additives);
・ Merial (animal health) - a 50/50 joint venture with Merck & Co.

Aventis S.A. is a world leader in life sciences. Focused on two core business areas - pharmaceuticals and agriculture - Aventis is dedicated to improving life through the discovery and development of innovative products in the fields of prescription drugs, vaccines, therapeutic proteins, crop production and protection, animal health and nutrition. With global corporate headquarters in Strasbourg, France, Aventis employs around 90,000 people in 150 countries and recorded pro forma sales in 1998 of 21 billion (US$ 21.3 billion).

Hoechst AG and the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) met on Thursday in Kuwait and had productive discussions about the merger of Hoechst and Rhone-Poulenc.
Both sides have agreed to maintain the constructive dialogue and expect to conclude the discussions shortly.

日本経済新聞 2004/1/24

仏製薬サノフイ アベンティス買収か 英仏紙報道 合併の可能性も


January 23 2004 Financial Times

Sanofi considers hostile bid for Aventis
By Geoff Dyer in London, Martin Arnold and Denis Cosnard in Paris

The board of L'Oreal, the French cosmetics group that is a significant shareholder in
Sanofi-Synthelabo, is to meet tomorrow to discuss the possibility of Sanofi bidding for rival drugs group Aventis.

An acquisition or merger would create a French national champion valued at about $100bn (
£54bn) that would compete for second place in the industry with GlaxoSmithKline.

The news came as bankers close to both companies said Sanofi was considering a hostile bid for Aventis, the Franco-German group based in Strasbourg. One said: "A bid is a real possibility."

While a merger with Aventis would be the preferred route for Sanofi, bankers said, the group was considering a hostile approach because it believed Aventis would not agree to a merger at present.

Both companies denied last Friday that they were holding merger talks and reiterated that yesterday after speculation sent their share prices higher. Paris-based Sanofi ended 3.4 per cent higher, while Aventis rose 5.2 per cent. In its statement, Sanofi said it was "continuing to study any deal that could help assure its medium and long-term future".

L'Oreal owns 19.5 per cent of the shares in Sanofi and Total, the French oil group, has a 24.4 per cent stake. A shareholder agreement preventing either company selling its stakes expires in December.

Les Echos, the French business newspaper, reported this week Sanofi considered a bid for Aventis last month, but the option was rejected by L'Oreal. L'Oreal refused to confirm or deny the board meeting tomorrow.

The attraction to Sanofi of a bid now would be the use of its more highly valued paper before a case this year over US patents on Plavix, the blood-thinner that is its second-largest drug. If Sanofi loses the case, its shares are expected to fall sharply.

Without an Aventis tie-up, Sanofi could itself be a target next year, bankers argue, when the L'Oreal and Total shareholder pact expires. A banker said: "Total . . . wants a significant dilution of its stake and an increase in the value of the shares." The danger of a hostile approach is that it would signal a lack of confidence in the Plavix patents and could require a generous premium to convince sceptical Aventis shareholders.

Alexandra Hauber, an analyst at Bear Stearns, said: "If Sanofi were to launch a hostile bid, we would view this as a signal that management has doubts about the sustainability of Plavix's US exclusivity." Analysts predicted Aventis would be reluctant to join forces with Sanofi while the Plavix case was outstanding.


サノフィ・サンテラボ  Sanofi-Synthelabo




1998/12/2 L'Oreal

L'Oreal: Sanofi and Synthelabo to merge: Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal to hold 35.1% and 19.4% shareholdings respectively in the new group

Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal announce plan to merge their pharmaceutical subsidiaries into a new company, Sanofi-Synthelabo.
Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal to hold 35.1% and 19.4% respectively of the capital in the new group.
Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal to sign a shareholders' agreement ensuring shareholder stability of the new group
Sanofi-Synthelabo will be the 6th largest pharmaceuticals group in Europe and will rank among the top 20 in the world:
  * Sanofi and Synthelabo have strong complementarity in the therapeutic areas of central nervous system, cardiovascular, oncology and internal medicine.
  * The new group to continue each company's strong profile of current earning growth with excellent longer term prospects.
  * The two companies' combined pro-forma research and development spending for 1998 will be close to FF6 billion.

The Boards of Directors of Elf Aquitaine (NYSE:ELF) and L'Oreal today approved the project to merge their respective pharmaceutical subsidiaries, Sanofi and Synthelabo, into a new group called Sanofi-Synthelabo. The merger meets the two parent companies' objectives of creating an important pharmaceuticals group.

With pro-forma 1998 sales of approximately FF35 billion, the new group will be the sixth largest pharmaceuticals group in Europe and will rank among the top 20 worldwide. Sanofi-Synthelabo will have an enhanced base to greatly increase its development in the US market. The new group will have an outstanding portfolio of current products, and an enhanced research and development capacity both in terms of budget and products in the pipeline.

The merger will be carried out with Sanofi and Synthelabo being absorbed by a new company, Sanofi-Synthelabo, which will be listed on the Paris stock exchange. The institution of double voting rights are planned for Sanofi and Synthelabo shareholders who have held nominative shares for more than two years.

Based on an agreed exchange ratio of 13 Sanofi shares for every 10 Synthelabo shares, Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal will respectively hold 35.1% and 19.4% of the capital and approximately 45% and 25% of the voting rights in the new group. Each company will report its shareholdings in its consolidated financial statements using equity accounting.

In order to jointly ensure the stability of the new group, Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal will sign a shareholders' agreement for a period of at least six years, providing for joint consultation and agreement in respect to all important decisions regarding Sanofi-Synthelabo. During this period, it is intended that both Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal will each retain shareholdings to approximately 20% of the capital of the new group. The additional shares held by Elf Aquitaine are not subject to the agreement, although there are no current plans to dispose of them.

Of a total 12 members, Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal will name four and three members respectively to the new group's Board of Directors. It is anticipated that Jean-Francois Dehecq and Herve Guerin will be proposed as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman and Chief Operating Officer respectively of the new company and both will also join the board.

Completion of the operation will be subject to regulatory approval and to the approval of the shareholders at Sanofi's and Synthelabo's extraordinary general meetings to be held in early May. Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal have committed themselves to vote in favor of the merger. Appropriate procedures in respect to organizations representing personnel will be carried out.

The French stock market authorities have reviewed the project and, subject to its completion, have exempted Elf Aquitaine and L'Oreal from the obligation of making a public offer for the new group.

Philippe Jaffre, Chairman and CEO of Elf Aquitaine, said, "This operation represents the decision taken by Elf Aquitaine Board of Directors in December 1996, regarding its strategy to accelerate Sanofi's development and increase its profitability. Since that time, we have worked with Sanofi's management in order to find the best partner. This merger with L'Oreal is an excellent outcome which gives birth to a pharmaceutical company with enormous development prospects. It creates value for all shareholders, and for Elf Aquitaine's shareholders, through our interest in Sanofi-Synthelabo."

Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman and CEO of L'Oreal, made the following comment. "The two companies, whose strategic businesses are the same, have a perfect complementarity in terms of their product portfolio, research and development projects and geographical presence. The quality of their respective research, their strong positions on European markets, a particularly healthy financial situation and a stable shareholding base constitute a solid platform for becoming one of the foremost players worldwide in the pharmaceuticals industry. We are convinced that this new group will enable us to enhance the value of our interests in this sector."

日本経済新聞 2004/1/27

アベンティス買収提案.仏サノフィ発表 世界3位製薬誕生か



2004/1/26 Aventis

Aventis Management Board rejects hostile offer from Sanofi-Synthelabo - Aventis Supervisory Board Chairman and Vice Chairman support the position of the Management Board

Aventis has been informed that Sanofi-Synthelabo has submitted an unsolicited offer to take control of Aventis.

The Aventis Management Board, led by Chairman Igor Landau, would like to emphasize that the offer, which was launched without any prior approach from Sanofi-Synthelabo, is of a hostile nature and does not take into account the wide range of risks associated with this move.

Furthermore, the offer contains a premium of 3.6% over the last closing price of the Aventis share. The Management Board of Aventis believes that this proposal is not in the best interest of its shareholders, because it offers inferior value compared to the achievement of the current stand-alone strategy and would compel its shareholders to assume significant risks associated with Sanofi´s main products.

The Management Board believes that there are other scenarios with a stronger industrial and social rationale.

For these reasons, the Management Board has decided to recommend to the Supervisory Board to reject the offer. Jurgen Dormann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and Jean-Rene Fourtou, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board, will also recommend a rejection of the offer.

About Aventis
Aventis is dedicated to treating and preventing disease by discovering and developing innovative prescription drugs and human vaccines. In 2002, Aventis generated sales of Euro 17.6 billion, invested Euro 3.1 billion in research and development and employed approximately 71,000 people in its core business. Aventis corporate headquarters are in Strasbourg, France. For more information, please visit: www.aventis.com

02/02/2004 Aventis

Aventis Gains Additional Flexibility for Rhodia Stake Disposal

(注 Aventeis誕生の条件であった Rhodia株売却の代わりに、Wackerの株式売却)

On January 30, 2004, the European Commission agreed to replace a commitment obliging Aventis to sell its 15.3% stake in Rhodia with a commitment to divest its 49% stake in Wacker-Chemie within a confidential timeframe of several years.

The European Commission had agreed to the formation of Aventis through the combination of Rhone-Poulenc and Hoechst in 1999, subject to certain commitments (IP/99/626). One of the commitments related to Aventis reducing its stake in Rhodia to below 5% by April 2004. In addition, the Commission required that Wacker's operations be maintained separately from those of Rhodia, until the Aventis stake in Rhodia is divested.

In parallel, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has extended its separate deadline for Aventis
disposal of the Rhodia stake by one additional year, until April 22, 2005.

In light of the current financial situation at Rhodia, Aventis had sought added flexibility to secure its own financial interest by allowing Rhodia to adequately restructure its operations.

Aventis remains committed to divesting its non-core activities by the end of 2004.

About Aventis

Aventis is dedicated to treating and preventing disease by discovering and developing innovative prescription drugs and human vaccines. In 2002, Aventis generated sales of Euro 17.6 billion, invested Eruo 3.1 billion in research and development and employed approximately 71,000 people in its core business. Aventis corporate headquarters are in Strasbourg, France. For more information, please visit: www.aventis.com

2003/11/5 Nalco

Nalco Aquisition By Private Equity Group Complete

The private equity group consisting of The Blackstone Group, Apollo Management, L.P., and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners announced today that its acquisition of Ondeo Nalco Company from Suez, S.A. is complete. The group tendered an offer for Ondeo Nalco in September for $4.2 billion. As of the closing of the sale, the officially renamed Nalco Company will operate as a privately held, independent business.

With the sale of the company behind us, we can increase our focus on driving faster growth while improving the already high-quality service we bring to our customers,said Dr. William Joyce, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nalco. Developing innovative technology remains a core focus for Nalco. We will also redesign our structures and processes to make it easier for customers to work with us.

Nalco is transitioning to private ownership in its 75th year of operation. The Company was founded in 1928.

Nalco is the leading provider of integrated water treatment and process improvement services, chemicals and equipment programs for industrial and institutional applications. The company currently serves more than 60,000 customer locations representing a broad range of end markets. It has established a global presence with more than 10,000 employees operating in 130 countries, supported by a comprehensive network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and research centers. In 2002, Nalco achieved sales of $2.7 billion.

2005/4/4 Rhodia

Investment will strengthen leadership position in core technology

Rhodia announces an investment to further strengthen its leadership position in the
Diphenols business by building a new production plant for catechol and hydroquinone in China. The manufacturing facility which will be located near Shanghai will have an estimated annual production capacity of about 12,000 tons and is scheduled to be on-stream in early 2007.

This project will extend Rhodia
s world-wide Diphenols manufacturing base from Europe and North America to Asia. As a leader in the diphenol products line, which includes catechol and, hydroquinone for various industry applications, as well as down-stream derivatives such as vanillin, ethyl vanillin, veratrol and mono-methyl ether of hydroquinone, Rhodia utilizes the most advanced hydroxylation technology. This provides Rhodia with flexibility and allows it to be particularly well adapted to meet the current trends in the marketplace.

The Rhodia Perfumery, Performance & Agro (PPA) Enterprise, specializing in organic chemistry, is refocusing its business portfolio on three product trees, in which it holds strong market and technology leadership positions:

Diphenols and derivatives
Salicylic acid product line
Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and fluorination.

This strategic refocus, completed by operational improvement programs at all its manufacturing sites, will ensure Rhodia PPA
s long-term competitiveness.

Specialized in fine organic chemistry, Rhodia Perfumery, Performance & Agro is the leader of diphenols and derivates, salicylic acid product line and Trifluoroacetic acid and fluorination, dedicated to the Flavor & Fragrance market, Performance Specialties (polymerization inhibitors, imaging, antiozonants), and the Agrochemical industry. Headquartered in Lyon, the Enterprise has a sales network that spans the world, with manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.

Rhodia is a global specialty chemicals company recognized for its strong technology positions in applications chemistry, specialty materials & services and fine chemicals. Partnering with major players in the automotive, electronics, fibers, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, consumer care, tires and paints & coatings markets, Rhodia offers tailor-made solutions combining original molecules and technologies to respond to customers
needs. Rhodia subscribes to the principles of Sustainable Development communicating its commitments and performance openly with stakeholders. Rhodia generated net sales of ?5.3 billion in 2004 and employs 20,000 people worldwide. Rhodia is listed on the Paris and New York stock exchanges.

November 15, 2001 Adisseo

Aventis to sell animal nutrition business to CVC Capital Partners

Aventis and CVC Capital Partners, a leading European private equity company, have signed an agreement concerning the acquisition of Aventis Animal Nutrition by CVC Capital Partners. Subject to the required approval processes, the closing of the transaction is expected during the first quarter of 2002.
The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

Adisseo was formed in connection with Drakkar's acquisition of Aventis's animal nutrition business in April 2002.

Aventis Animal Nutrition is one of the world's pioneers in animal nutrition, developing, manufacturing and marketing a broad range of nutritional feed additives, including the essential amino acid methionine as well as vitamins, vitamin premixes and feed enzymes. Aventis Animal Nutrition generated total sales of Euro 577 million in 2000. At the end of 2000, the company had around 1,450 employees. Company headquarters are in Antony near Paris, France. For more information, please visit: www.an.aventis.com

CVC Capital Partners is a leading independent equity provider in Europe, specialising in large scale MBOs/MBIs. Founded in 1981, CVC currently has total funds under management of over Euro 9 billion with offices in 11 European countries and over 50 local investment professionals.

Aventis (NYSE: AVE) is dedicated to improving life through the discovery and development of innovative products. In 2000, Aventis generated group sales of Euro 22.3 billion and employed around 92,500 people in its Pharma and Agriculture businesses. Corporate headquarters are in Strasbourg, France.