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Akzo Nobel to Exit Printing Inks Business

Press release from the issuing company

Arnhem, the Netherlands, November 15, 2001 – Akzo Nobel Coatings intends to divest its Printing Inks business to the private equity company NeSBIC Buy Out Fund and the management of the Printing Inks business for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is expected to be concluded by the end of this year. “We are very pleased to announce that the Printing Inks business plans to join NeSBIC, and that the management will take an equity stake,” commented Rudy van der Meer, member of Akzo Nobel’s Board of Management responsible for Coatings. “This is a good deal for everybody,” he added. “While Printing Inks delivered a positive financial performance in 2001 under difficult market circumstances, and has a number of leading positions in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, our view is that it no longer fits within our product portfolio from a strategic perspective,” Van der Meer said. Printing inks are used in the print media, packaging, and commercial printing industries. Sales for the business in 2000 were EUR 190 million. Printing Inks is active in 50 countries and has its primary manufacturing and mixing facilities in Scandinavia, the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. All 900 employees worldwide will move with the business to the new owners. Employee representative bodies and unions have been informed about the intention to divest 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 2000 totaled EUR 14 billion (USD 13 billion, GBP 8.5 billion). The Company currently employs 67,400 people in 80 countries. Financial results for the full year 2001 will be published on February 22, 2002. NeSBIC is one of the larger and more experienced firms in the well-developed Benelux venture capital and private equity industry. The company builds and manages top-quality private equity funds that invest in unlisted companies in targeted segments and geographic areas. NeSBIC's fund management activities started as early as 1969 and since then it has invested in more than 200 companies.

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