BASF Buys Cognis For $858M

BERLIN (AP) -- Chemical company BASF SE said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire Cognis, a supplier of raw materials for cosmetics, detergents and cleaners, for euro700 million ($858 million) in cash.

Including net financial debt and pension obligations, the enterprise value of the transaction is euro3.1 billion, the company said. The closing of the transaction is expected for November 2010.

"With the acquisition of Cognis ... we are further expanding our position as the world's leading chemical company," Juergen Hambrecht, the chairman of BASF's board of executives, said.

Cognis employs about 5,500 people and operates in 30 countries. Besides chemicals, it also makes coatings and inks, lubricants, and products for agriculture and mining. In 2009, Cognis had sales of euro2.6 billion.

BASF is based in the southwestern German city of Ludwigshafen. It has some 105,000 employees worldwide and posted sales of more than euro50 billion in 2009.

Shares of the company were down a quarter of a percent on Wednesday, at euro46.63 in Frankfurt trading.

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