BASEL, Switzerland – Ciba Specialty Chemicals and Morgan Grenfell Private Equity (MGPE) have signed a contract under which MGPE will buy Ciba’s Performance Polymers division. Ciba and MGPE, which is the private-equity arm of Deutsche Asset Management, have agreed to a purchase price of CHF 1.845 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2000, subject to customary closing conditions.

“Ciba has successfully restructured the Performance Polymers division and has now found a strong new partner to take over the business. Our agreement with MGPE marks an important milestone to secure a promising future for the business, its customers and its employees,” said Rolf A. Meyer, chairman and chief executive officer of Ciba Specialty Chemicals.

“The Performance Polymers division is a high-quality branded asset, with top-line growth potential driven by its leading technological position,” said Graham Hutton, chief executive of Morgan Grenfell Private Equity. “It is one of the world’s top three epoxy resins manufacturers and has strong positions in specialty applications such as advanced tooling, adhesives and photopolymers.”

MGPE will appoint Karl-Gerhard Seifert as nonexecutive chairman of the Performance Polymers business. Seifert is head of MGPE’s German Private Equity team and was formerly the CEO of Clariant. The headquarters will be based in Basel, Switzerland.