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AkzoNobel to divest National Starch business for $1.3 billion

By Gerald Ondrey |

Akzo Nobel N.V. (Amsteredam, the Netherlands; www.akzonobel.com) today announced the sale of its National Starch business to Corn Products International (Westchester, Ill.). The company will receive $1.3 billion in cash and the buyer will assume certain pension and employee benefit liabilities. The transaction, which has been approved by the Boards of both AkzoNobel and Corn Products International, is expected to close at the end of the third quarter of 2010, subject to the appropriate regulatory approvals. National Starch — a subsidiary of the former ICI — was taken over by AkzoNobel as part of its acquisition of ICI in January 2008. While it was regarded as an excellent business, the Board of AkzoNobel concluded that National Starch did not offer sufficient opportunity to create value within the company’s transformed coatings and specialty chemicals portfolio. In April 2010, it was announced that AkzoNobel had received renewed expressions of interest in National Starch, which had accordingly been reclassified as a discontinued operation. National Starch is a recognized innovator in food ingredients and specialty starches. The company had 2009 revenue of $1.2 billion from sales of specialty starches to both…
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