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Sale of Neste Polyester to Ashland

02 March 2001

Ashland Inc. and Neste Chemicals Oy, a subsidiary of Nordkemi Group, signed a contract Feb. 23 on the sale of Neste Polyester's business and assets to Ashland Inc. The transaction, which is conditional on certain regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed within six weeks. Terms of the purchase agreement were not disclosed.

Upon closing, the newly acquired business is expected to operate within the Composite Polymers Division of Ashland Specialty Chemical Company, a division of Ashland Inc.

""The sale of Neste Polyester is a part of Nordkemi's strategy to concentrate on industrial adhesive resins and coating intermediates and to be a global leader in these markets,"" said Kyoto Sysio, executive vice president, Corporate Development and Mergers & Acquisitions, Nordkemi Oy. James A. Duquin, president of Ashland Specialty Chemical Company, said, ""Upon completion, Ashland's acquisition of Neste Polyester propels our Composite Polymers Division to a worldwide leadership position in unsaturated polyester resins and gelcoats and expands our geographic reach throughout Europe.""

Neste Polyester manufactures and markets high-quality unsaturated polyester resins and gelcoats for the marine, building and construction, and transportation industries worldwide. Neste Polyester is the second largest manufacturer of gelcoats in the world and has production units in Finland, France, the United States, Poland, China and Austria. In 2000, Neste Polyester had net sales of approximately EUR 120 million.

Ashland Specialty Chemical Company, a division of Ashland Inc., is a leading, worldwide supplier of specialty chemicals serving industries including adhesives, automotive, composites, foundry, merchant marine, paint, paper, plastics, and semiconductor. Visit the Internet web site at http://www.ashspec.com to learn more about these operations.





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