ARNHEM, the Netherlands, and LONGUEUIL, Quebec, Canada - Akzo Nobel has made an offer of CAD 20.00 per common share to acquire Sico Inc., Canada's leading coatings company.

Sico's two largest shareholders, who own around 34 percent of the company's common shares, have expressed their full support for the deal and have signed a binding commitment to tender their shares under the offer. The Sico board of directors has also recommended the offer to its shareholders, backing up Akzo Nobel's mailing to Sico shareholders, through its wholly owned subsidiary, 9168-1528 Québec Inc., for all of the issued and outstanding common shares and Class B preferred shares of Sico Inc.

Active in the architectural-coatings market for more than 65 years and headquartered in Quebec City, Sico Inc. develops, manufactures and markets architectural paints, including key brands such as Sico®, Para® and Betonel®, as well as related products such as Mulco® caulking compounds.

The total price on a fully diluted basis is CAD 295 million (€211 million) representing nine times EBITDA of Sico in 2005. This amount will include preferred shares, which Akzo Nobel will acquire at par value as well as other net debt. Akzo Nobel's offer to acquire Sico is subject to various regulatory approvals and acceptance by shareholders.

ARNHEM, the Netherlands - Akzo Nobel is continuing to build its position in Central Europe, having signed an agreement to acquire Balakom a.s., one of the leading paint companies in the Czech Republic. Based in Opava in the Czech Republic, the purchase of Balakom, which was established in 1907, will substantially increase Akzo Nobel's domestic market share and provide a solid base for further expansion.

"Strengthening the presence of our coatings activities in Central Europe is a key element of the company's global expansion strategy, and this deal makes sound business sense on a number of levels," explained Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers. "Balakom is a respected company with a long and proud history in the coatings industry, and its sound technological base has resulted in the development of a number of well-known brands," he continued.

The transaction, for which regulatory approvals are being sought, represents the latest in a series of deals involving Akzo Nobel Decorative Coatings, with acquisition agreements having also been signed in the Ukraine, China, Switzerland and Germany during recent months.