WACKER to acquire Air Products' stake in construction polymers joint ventures

Geschrieben am 11-12-2007

- Integrated value chain further strengthened - Increase in polymer
sales to approx. € 1 billion in 2008 - “Another logical step in the
Group’s growth strategy,” says WACKER CEO

ots.CorporateNews transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer is responsible for
the content of this announcement.


Munich / Lehigh Valley (PA) (euro adhoc) - December 11, 2007 - Wacker
Chemie AG plans to acquire full ownership of Air Products Polymers
(APP) and Wacker Polymer Systems (WPS), its two joint ventures with
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. The two partners today announced
they have signed an agreement to this effect. As the world's leading
supplier of dispersible polymer powders for construction
applications, WACKER expects that the acquisition will provide
strategic advantages to its global construction-polymers business.
Benefits include synergies and cost advantages stemming from backward
integration at U.S. and Asian dispersion plants, as well as the
expansion of its supply chain outside the eurozone.

The closing of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the
relevant antitrust authorities, is expected in Q1 2008. As part of
the agreement, WACKER retains the Vinyl Acetate Ethylene (VAE)
activities of the Joint Venture, while Air Products will receive full
ownership in the Elkton, Md., and Piedmont, S.C., production
facilities and their related businesses plus cash considerations of
USD 265 million. With approval, the transaction would contribute
substantially to further develop WACKER´s polymer business to around
EUR1 billion in sales in 2008.

Air Products issued a formal statement back in March 2006, announcing
its intention to sell its APP and WPS shareholdings. Currently,
WACKER owns 35 percent and Air Products 65 percent of APP. As for
WPS, WACKER holds 80 percent and Air Products, 20 percent.

The planned acquisition focuses on the activities of APP and WPS in
vinyl acetate ethylene-based dispersions and dispersible polymer
powders. Consequently, WACKER plans to acquire all of the two
companies´ related activities at their APP and WPS sites in Allentown
(PA, USA), Calvert City (KY, USA), Cologne and Burghausen (Germany),
South Brunswick (NJ, USA) and Ulsan (Korea). WACKER intends to
continue operating this business out of the Lehigh Valley. The Elkton
(MD, USA) and Piedmont (SC, USA) sites and the associated businesses
will become fully owned by Air Products.

Wacker Chemie AG´s CEO, Peter-Alexander Wacker, saw the acquisition
as another logical step in the Group´s growth strategy. "WACKER and
Air Products have worked together for over 20 years successfully
developing the polymers market. This is a very capable and
knowledgeable team," he said. "Our agreement will give WACKER fully
integrated production sites in the USA and Asia. The economies of
scale and synergies resulting from this extension of our value chain
will bring us cost advantages. By boosting WACKER´s polymer sales,
the agreement reinforces the balance of our entire business
portfolio. We will push ahead now with APP´s and WPS´s integration
into WACKER Group."

Air Products´ President and CEO, John McGlade, said: "Air Products
and WACKER are looking back to a decades-long successful partnership
in polymer business. They recognize the strategic value of the
business, its high quality assets and its outstanding team of

APP and WPS in Brief Air Products Polymers (APP) produces polymer
dispersions at sites in Germany, South Korea and the USA. It sells
its products under the Airflex®, Vinac®, Flexbond® and Flexcryl®
trademarks to industries ranging from adhesives, nonwovens, paints
and coatings, to building products, paper, carpet and textiles.
Wacker Polymer Systems (WPS) is responsible for VINNAPAS® dispersible
polymer powders, VINNAPAS® solid resins, PIOLOFORM® B, VINNOL®
surface-coating resins, VINNEX® binder systems and VINNAPAS®
dispersions for construction applications. WPS operates production
facilities in Germany, China and the USA.

Air Products in Brief Air Products (NYSE: APD) serves customers in
industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with
a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases,
performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940,
Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such
as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare
services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and
adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture,
operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment.
Air Products has annual revenues of $10 billion, operations in over
40 countries, and 22,000 employees around the globe. For more
information, visit www.airproducts.com.

WACKER in Brief WACKER (www.wacker.com) is a globally active chemical
company headquartered in Munich. With a wide range of
state-of-the-art specialty products, WACKER is a leader in numerous
industrial sectors. Its products are required in countless
high-growth end-user sectors such as photovoltaics, electronics,
pharmaceuticals and household/personal care. WACKER POLYMERS is
currently the global leader in dispersible polymer powders for
construction applications. In 2006, the WACKER Group posted sales of
some EUR3.34 billion, with approx. 80 percent being earned outside
Germany. WACKER currently employs about 14,700 persons at 22
production sites in Europe, the Americas and Asia and in some 100
sales offices worldwide. Wacker Chemie AG is listed on the Frankfurt
(Germany) Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE000WCH8881).

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on
assumptions and estimates of the executive boards of WACKER and Air
Products. Although we assume the expectations in these
forward-looking statements are realistic, we cannot guarantee they
will prove to be correct. The assumptions may harbor risks and
uncertainties that may cause the actual figures to differ
considerably from the forward-looking statements. Factors that may
cause such discrepancies include, among other things, changes in the
economic and business environment, variations in exchange and
interest rates, the introduction of competing products, lack of
acceptance for new products or services, and changes in corporate
strategy. WACKER and / or Air Products do not plan to update the
forward-looking statements, nor do they assume the obligation to do

end of announcement euro adhoc 11.12.2007 06:59:14

ots Originaltext: Wacker Chemie AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:

Wacker Chemie AG
Corporate Communications
Christof Bachmair
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 6279-1830
E-Mail: christof.bachmair@wacker.com

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Corporate Communications
Robert F. Brown
Tel. +1 610-481-1192
E-Mail: brownrf@airproducts.com

Branche: Chemicals
ISIN: DE000WCH8881
Index: CDAX, Classic All Share, HDAX, MDAX, Midcap Market Index,
Prime All Share
Börsen: Börse Frankfurt / regulated dealing/prime standard


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