Cognis' Exclusive Licensing Agreement with Natural ASA for TONALIN® CLA Goes into Effect

DUSSELDORF, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 14, 2003--
Cognis to Further Expand TONALIN CLA into Dietary Supplement, Food Ingredient, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Markets

Cognis, a global specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients company, and Natural ASA, a Norwegian research and development company, have announced that the licensing agreement signed in August 2002 for TONALIN(R) brand conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) will go into effect on February 15, 2003.

The agreement grants Cognis an exclusive license to Natural ASA's CLA intellectual property, technology, and marketing, as well as an exclusive license for the use of the TONALIN(R) trademark. Patent rights licensed exclusively to Natural from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) are part of the agreement. WARF, a not-for-profit organization based in Madison, offers intellectual property management services to the faculty of the University of Wisconsin. Natural ASA is the world's leading supplier of CLA and parent company of Natural Inc., based in Vernon Hills, IL.

Now that the licensing agreement between Cognis and Natural is in effect, TONALIN(R) CLA will be sold and marketed under Cognis' Nutrition and Health Division. The company is seeking to expand TONALIN(R) CLA's market share in its primary marketing channel of dietary supplements, as well as advance the key markets of foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. In conjunction with this expansion, Cognis anticipates the immediate launch of strategic sales and marketing programs to further solidify TONALIN(R) CLA as the leading dietary supplement of its kind.

"We are pleased that the licensing agreement between Cognis and Natural is now in effect so we can begin implementing programs to increase TONALIN(R) CLA's visibility in the marketplace, and build upon its already impressive record of clinical substantiation," stated Paul Allen, Group Vice President, Cognis Nutrition and Health. "In 2003, Cognis will continue to strengthen TONALIN(R) CLA's brand equity in established marketing channels, developing marketing opportunities in new channels, and promoting credible research on CLA's multitude of promising health applications."

TONALIN(R) CLA utilizes a new proprietary process that converts linoleic acid from safflower oil into CLA which provides the highest activity available at 80 percent. It is the brand used in most clinical research confirming CLA's benefits for human health, including five published studies on CLA in the past 18 months. In the spirit of Natural ASA, Cognis will continue to fund important clinical studies with TONALIN(R) CLA and human health benefits. In 2003, results from a 12 month clinical study will be published demonstrating a beneficial role for TONALIN(R) CLA in body weight management.

For information in North America about TONALIN(R) brand CLA, please call 800.673.3702 to place an order, e-mail [email protected], or fax 513.482.3576. For information in Europe about TONALIN(R) brand CLA, call +49.211.794.9692, e-mail [email protected], or fax +49.211.798.2390. For information in Asia Pacific about TONALIN(R) brand CLA, call +61.3.9584.4588.

About CLA:

CLA is a polyunsaturated, conjugated fatty acid that is a natural part of the human diet through its presence in meat and dairy products. The CLA content of natural dairy products has fallen over time, and the human body now needs to supplement its consumption of CLA from other sources. Natural has developed and patented a number of CLA-containing substances, and expects to see CLA used in the future for preventive medical purposes.

About Cognis:

Cognis ( ) is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients with almost 9,100 employees in close to 50 countries. The company has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural-source ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets and serves major customers in the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Additionally, Cognis provides solutions for a number of other industries such as, coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles and plastics as well as agrosolutions and mining chemicals.

Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and Schroder Ventures Life Sciences. In 2001, Cognis recorded sales of 3.1 billion euros and an operating profit of 174 million euros. In the first half-year of 2002, sales were 1.6 billion euros.

Cognis Nutrition and Health, a business unit of Cognis Group, provides antioxidant, botanical and nature-based ingredients for dietary supplements; pharmaceuticals and healthcare; functional foods and medical nutrition; and animal nutrition. As a leader in food technology, Cognis manufactures emulsifiers, emulsifier-based compounds, and numerous other specialty products for the food industry worldwide.

About Natural:

Natural ( ), headquartered in Oslo, Norway, is a research and development company positioned between an external research network and the food/animal feed industries. Natural's objective is to develop high-value bioactive patent-protected lipid products for licensing to global markets. The main markets are producers of animal feed, human food, and dietary supplements around the world. The research network consists of over 150 researchers connected to universities and research organizations, principally in the USA.


CONTACT: Cognis Nutrition & Health
Paul Allen, 513/482-3004
E-mail: [email protected]
Cognis Corporate Communications
Susanne Sengel, +49-211-7940 5431
E-mail: [email protected]
Natural ASA
Tore H. Rasmussen, + 47 90774777
E-mail: [email protected]

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