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CVC Capital Partners Acquires BASF Printing Systems and ANI Printing Inks

Press release from the issuing company

LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany-- Funds managed by CVC Capital Partners (CVC), a leading European private equity firm, today acquired the printing inks and printing plates operations of BASF, which consist mainly of BASF Drucksysteme GmbH and other printing system companies. The sale covers all the BASF printing system facilities and activities, including pigment production at the BASF Colorants & Chemicals Co. Ltd. in Shanghai as well as the production of alkali blue at the BASF Corporation's plant in Huntington, West Virginia. Both parties to the contract agreed to keep the details of the transaction confidential. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. The sale by BASF should enable the printing system business to emerge as a leading international supplier in the industry. The first step towards this goal will be the merger with the Swedish printing inks manufacturer ANI Printing Inks (ANI) under the CVC umbrella. ANI has likewise been acquired by CVC funds with effect from today. Both its product portfolio and its regional coverage are very complementary to BASF's printing inks operations. The merged business will be headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. The takeover of ANI as well as the subsequent merger of the two corporations are subject to regulatory approval. BASF has been active in the printing plate business since 1965. In 1970, with the acquisition of K+E, which was headquartered in Stuttgart/Germany, BASF, started its own printing inks business. BASF Printing Systems was founded in 1997. BASF Printing Systems' operations have always been largely stand-alone within the BASF Group. In the course of recent years, in particular, printing plate technology has increasingly diverged from the chemicals business. Dr. Christian Wildmoser, Managing Director of CVC, commented: "We are making a decisive contribution to consolidation in a fragmented industry by merging BASF Printing Systems and ANI. As a result of the acquisition, BASF Printing Systems will become a core business and the merger with ANI will ensure that in the future a leading printing systems business will not only be able to maintain its market position, but expand it further." Dr. Wolfgang Buechele, as Director of BASF's Performance Chemicals division also in charge of the BASF Printing Systems business states: "Our printing systems were successful and made a decidedly positive contribution to profits. The entire European industry is currently in a state of upheaval, making it necessary to give the business a more strongly global thrust. By spinning the printing business off, we are endeavoring to give it new prospects to further expand its activities world-wide." Dr. Michael Stumpp, Head of BASF Printing Systems, commented: "With the merger of the two companies we significantly increase our appeal to clients. Our position will be strengthened in a highly competitive market and we will be better able to exploit the opportunities that arise in an increasingly globalised market." Peter Koivula, CEO of ANI Printing Inks, in Trelleborg/Sweden states: "The merger is in line with the consolidation plan which ANI announced back at the end of 2001 in the context of the MBO. Through this combination of two well known ink suppliers we not only create a leading European company that can service the demanding expectations of our customers, but also a global supplier of complete printing system solutions that can offer better products and services for the graphics and packaging industry