CARY, N.C., and FLORHAM PARK, N.J., -- Arysta LifeScience North America Corp. and BASF Corp. today announced they have reached final agreement for Arysta to acquire major assets of Micro Flo Co. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF.

The acquisition will significantly broaden the scope of Arysta LifeScience's North American sales operations and create a strategic position in the U.S. crop protection segment. Closing of the transaction is expected by the end of the first quarter 2006, pending customary regulatory approvals. Both companies agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.



Micro Flo, with headquarters in Memphis, Tenn., and a formulation site in Sparks, Ga., is a leading manufacturer and distributor of off-patent crop protection chemicals and offers a variety of manufacturing and distribution services. This includes wholesale distributorships for fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and plant-growth-regulating agents. Micro Flo has relationships with the major U.S.-based agricultural distribution networks.



Under the agreement, Arysta LifeScience North America Corp. will acquire the commercial business of Micro Flo, including a portfolio of active ingredients and registrations, the Micro Flo trademark, patents and the development laboratory located in Sparks. BASF will continue to own and operate the formulation production facility in Sparks.



Arysta LifeScience will be an important customer for BASF, and long-term agreements will ensure continuity for the supply of the Micro Flo products sourced from BASF. With the exception of the employees at the Sparks manufacturing site who will remain with BASF, all Micro Flo personnel will be offered equivalent positions with Arysta LifeScience, including the development laboratory staff at the Sparks facility.



Christopher Richards, Arysta LifeScience president and CEO, said the acquisition is another key element of the company's long-term growth strategy.



"With this acquisition, Arysta LifeScience gains a solid range of products, a proven U.S. distribution network and a capable and experienced sales force with excellent customer relationships. Micro Flo is highly regarded for its portfolio of products and its customer service focus," Richards said. "Adding Micro Flo's operations to our existing presence in North America will give Arysta LifeScience a substantially stronger platform for future growth in the region."



The divestiture is part of BASF Agricultural Products division's strategy of continuously evaluating its product portfolio and its asset structure.



"As a leader in innovation, we have identified some products and assets that offer limited synergy for us, but are clearly a better strategic fit for a specialized company, such as the Micro Flo business with Arysta," said Mike Heinz, president of BASF's Agricultural Products division. "I'm convinced that the transition will be smooth. It will benefit our customers in the North American agricultural industry by enabling us to better focus our resources on bringing innovation to that market."



With sales of around $4 billion in 2005, BASF's Agricultural Products division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides.



BASF is a world-leading chemical company, with a portfolio ranging from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas.



Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Arysta LifeScience is the world's largest privately held crop protection and life science company with 2005 revenues of U.S. $1 billion. An entrepreneurial provider of crop protection and life science products in more than 125 countries worldwide, Arysta LifeScience specializes in the marketing and distribution of respected crop protection brands and life science products in harmony with the needs of global producers.



SOURCE: BASF Agricultural Products news release.