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Ciba To Sell Textile Effects Unit

Switzerland-based Ciba Specialty Chemicals Inc. has signed an agreement with Salt Lake City-based chemical group Huntsman Corp. whereby Ciba will sell its Textile Effects business for 332 million Swiss francs in cash and assumed debt.

The Textile Effects sale, which has an expected closing date in the third quarter of 2006, is necessary because the unit’s number of customers and products, local presence in many countries, and supply chain structure differ from Ciba’s other segments, thus requiring another operational structure, according to Armin Meyer, board chairman and CEO, Ciba. The business had sales totaling 1.3 billion Swiss francs in 2005.

“The divestment supports the strategic intention of the Board of Directors to focus on Ciba’s core businesses — Plastic Additives, Coating Effects and Water & Paper Treatment — strengthening and expanding the company’s overall position,” Meyer said.

As part of the sale, the 3,300 employees of Textile Effects and 900 supporting staff will transfer to Huntsman, which acquired Vantico Group S.A., Ciba’s former Performance Polymers division, in 2003.

March/April 2006