KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia/MONHEIM, Germany - Cognis Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG, Monheim, Germany, and Golden Hope Plantations Berhad, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, have formally agreed to expand the scope of their existing joint venture with the transfer of Cognis' global oleochemicals and plastics technology businesses.

Effective January 1, 2006, Cognis' global oleochemicals business, comprising fatty acids, glycerin, oilfield chemicals, azelaic acid and pelargonic acid, and plastics technology will be transferred to Cognis Oleochemicals (M) Sdn. Bhd., the existing 50:50 Malaysian joint venture between Cognis and Golden Hope. The implementation is subject to the approval of the relevant authorities and Malaysian Bank Negara and MITI (Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry). The transaction is expected to be formally completed with closing by the end of January 2006.

The businesses being added to the joint venture employ around 750 people, mostly in Germany, the United States and Canada, and generate revenues of around €570 ($700) million (including sales to Cognis). Cognis and Golden Hope will continue to be equal shareholders in the company, which is expected to remain consolidated in Cognis' financial accounts.