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BASF Forms Alliance with xpedx

Press release from the issuing company

MOUNT OLIVE, N.J.-Dec. 10, 2001--BASF announced today that its North American Printing Systems Group formed a strategic alliance with xpedx, a division of International Paper Company to nationally distribute BASF's line of K+E Printing Inks, photopolymer printing plates and plate-making equipment in the United States. Formation of this alliance will enable BASF and xpedx to provide customers with a more comprehensive package of premium products and services together with a fast and reliable supply. The new relationship combines BASF's strengths in R&D, manufacturing and quality with xpedx's strengths in printing, logistics and graphic arts. "The core competencies of BASF and xpedx are a natural fit'' states Pat Janssen, General Manager Performance Chemicals for the Printing Industry. "This strategic alliance enables us both to continue to focus on what we do best, and the result is that the customer will benefit from better products and services''. As part of the BASF Group, the Printing Systems business can offer some of the most innovative technology in the world by taking advantage of BASF's vast expertise in research and development in the printing, paper and packaging technologies. In 2000, BASF spent approximately 1,526 million dollars worldwide on research and development and submitted 1,110 patent applications. BASF can draw on the world's largest polymer research laboratory, ink laboratory and special resin laboratory with competencies in pigments, binders, additives, resins, packaging film, paper coatings and polymer research. BASF Printing Systems product line includes a diverse range of K+E printing inks and photopolymer printing plates under the nyloflex, nyloprint, nylograv(TM), nylocoat(TM) and digiflex(TM) brand names. In addition, BASF offers plate-making equipment for processing flexographic and letterpress plates and sleeves. K + E Printing Inks are designed for sheetfed and web offset printing, publication gravure and packaging and include a new line of UV-curable and hybrid inks. Specially formulated to run on high speed and perfecting presses, K+E Printing Inks provide outstanding rub resistance and high gloss for publication, commercial printing and specialty printing applications. BASF's printing plates, developed for use in flexographic, letterpress and gravure print applications, as well as coating applications for sheetfed offset presses provide excellent print quality in solids, line, and halftones. Recent product innovationsinclude the digiflex(TM) line of printing plates for digital imaging and nyloflex LD, the first polymer plate for direct engraving by laser.

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