The parties signed the purchase agreement on September 12, 2001. Due to the current uncertain conditions in the financial markets arising from the tragic events in the United States, Henkel has granted the investors the absolute right to withdraw from the contract within two months. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including relevant regulatory approvals. The proceeds from the sale of Cognis will increase Henkel's debt capacity substantially and will be used for the further development of the core businesses.
Cognis, the former Chemical Products business of Henkel and a leading worldwide supplier of specialty chemicals, was carved out from Henkel in 1999. With 9,100 employees in 50 countries, Cognis generated sales of 3.2 billion euros in 2000 and thus accounted for 23 percent of total Henkel Group sales. In the first half of 2001, Cognis achieved an increase in sales of 4 percent to 1.5 billion euros.
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