WESEL, Germany - ALTANA Chemie AG, the Specialty Chemicals division of ALTANA AG, has signed an agreement to acquire the ECKART GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Furth, Germany. ECKART, an international specialty chemicals group, is a leading manufacturer of metallic effect pigments and metallic printing inks. In 2004, the company achieved a sales volume of €302 million and operating earnings (EBITDA) of €65 million. ECKART employs about 1,850 people worldwide. After approval by the relevant antitrust authorities, the company's economic integration into ALTANA's Chemicals division is planned to take place in the Q4 2005.