LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany -- BASF SE has reached an agreement with Cognis Holding Luxembourg S.a r.l. controlled by Permira Funds, GS Capital Partners and SV Life Sciences to acquire the specialty chemicals company Cognis for an equity purchase price of euro 700 million. Including net financial debt and pension obligations, the enterprise value of the transaction is euro 3.1 billion. The acquisition is subject to clearance by the competent merger control authorities. Closing of the transaction is expected for November 2010 at the latest.

"With the acquisition of Cognis, we are strengthening our portfolio with cyclically robust and profitable businesses and further expanding our position as the world's leading chemical company," said Jurgen Hambrecht, chairman of the board of executive directors of BASF SE.

Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative solutions and products based on renewable raw materials for the health and nutrition market, as well as the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Another main focus is on products for a number of other industries, such as mining, lubricants, coatings, as well as agriculture. The company employs about 5,500 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. In 2009, Cognis had sales of about euro 2.6 billion and an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of euro 322 million.

The customers of Cognis include global consumer goods companies as well as regional suppliers from the personal and home care industries, and from the area of health and nutrition. The company also offers products for coatings and paints, lubricants for the transport industries and additives for chemical-technical applications for agriculture and mining.