WESTCHESTER, Ill. -- Corn Products International Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire National Starch, a New Jersey-based global provider of specialty starches, from AkzoNobel, the largest global coatings and specialty chemicals company, headquartered in The Netherlands.

"The acquisition of National Starch represents an exceptional opportunity for our Company and a significant step forward toward achieving our strategic goals," said Ilene Gordon, chairman, president and CEO of Corn Products International. "The acquisition aligns with our strategic priorities to grow our ingredient portfolio, increase our presence in priority food processing segments, enter new markets, and develop innovative solutions that better serve our customers."

"Combining National Starch with Corn Products will create an ingredient solutions leader with nearly $5 billion in revenues, "Gordon added. "The combined company will benefit from leading, innovative technology; enhanced geographic scale; a broader and deeper product portfolio; and access to new market segments."

National Starch is a recognized innovator in food ingredients and specialty starches. The company's technologies are supported by a world-class research and development infrastructure and protected by more than 800 patents and patents pending, which drive the development of advanced specialty starches for the next generation of food products. National Starch had 2009 revenues of $1.2 billion from sales of specialty starches to both local and multinational customers in the food, papermaking, consumer and industrial segments. It has 2,250 employees around the world and operates 11 plants in eight countries, including new geographies for Corn Products such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

National Starch is a leader in the development of specialty and modified starches --  two of the ingredient solutions that Corn Products has identified as important to its ongoing growth. National Starch's ingredient solutions, such as texturants, blends and environmentally "green" solutions, will broaden Corn Products' offerings to its global customers.

"This acquisition gives us access to new markets such as Europe, and improves our scale and capabilities in many of our existing global locations," said Gordon. "We will be able to better serve our global customers with our enhanced geographic footprint and the addition of National Starch's technology. Further, we expect significant production efficiencies and cost synergies that will make us more competitive around the world."

"We are acquiring National Starch, not just because of its products and manufacturing assets, but also because of its experienced and dedicated people," Gordon added. "They bring to Corn Products exceptional know-how in ingredient development, solutions and applications, along with proven marketing and customer service skills."

"We are confident that this acquisition will create lasting, long-term value for our shareholders," Gordon said. The transaction is expected to generate cost synergies of at least $50 million, primarily from efficiencies in the areas of manufacturing, procurement, logistics and general & administrative functions.

"We expect to move quickly to integrate and attain synergy savings," Gordon said.

On a cash basis, the transaction is expected to be accretive by the end of 2011.

The acquisition, which has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Corn Products International and AkzoNobel, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2010, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

The Company expects to finance the transaction through cash, debt and new equity. Corn Products is committed to maintaining its investment grade rating.

J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Corn Products International.

SOURCE: Corn Products International.