Natural Inc., Cognis to Enter Exclusive Licensing Agreement for Tonalin CLA

VERNON HILLS, IL (April 25, 2002) – Natural ASA, the world’s leading supplier of patented Tonalin® CLA and parent company of Natural Inc., based here, and Cognis, based in Dusseldorf, Germany have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which would give Cognis the exclusive license to Natural’s Tonalin® brand conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), its patents and intellectual property. Patents licensed exclusively to Natural from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) are part of the proposed agreement.

As part of the agreement, Cognis will take over the manufacture, marketing and sales of Natural’s portfolio of CLA for dietary supplements, functional foods, personal care and other products and technologies under its Nutrition and Health Division. Natural Inc.’s U.S.-based office in Vernon Hills, IL, will continue its sales and marketing functions as part of Natural ASA during the transition period while the final agreement between Natural ASA and Cognis is being reached. Current Natural Inc. customers should continue to contact their sales representative until the final agreement comes to fruition.

“Our top priority while the licensing agreement for Tonalin® CLA is being finalized between Natural ASA and Cognis is continuity of customer service and satisfaction,” stated Didrik Herlofson, Vice President of Natural Inc. “We are working diligently to ensure a seamless continuation in the excellent sales and marketing support that all of our Tonalinâ CLA customers have come to expect from our company. With the market for Tonalin® CLA stronger than ever, I’m confident about the future of this unique dietary supplement and the stellar brand equity behind the Tonalin name.”

CLA’s benefits can be obtained in Tonalin® brand CLA, the patented supplement that has been used in most of the major CLA research. Tonalin® CLA has been available from Natural, Inc., based in Vernon Hills, IL, since 1997. Tonalin® CLA has a history of safe and efficacious use, and provides the highest activity available at 80 percent. Natural’s Tonalin® CLA utilizes a proprietary process that converts linoleic acid from safflower oil into CLA Tonalin® CLA, which provides the highest activity available at 80 percent.

Tonalin® CLA is found in such U.S. product lines as Natrol, GNC, Your Life, EAS, Vitamin World, Nature’s Way and Nature’s Plus. Products containing Tonalin® CLA are available in supermarkets, drug stores, health food stores and from mass merchandisers nationwide. Tonalin® CLA is also distributed in Asia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, the Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), a not-for-profit organization, administers patents on the intellectual property for the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. WARF selected Natural ASA to produce and market CLA. Natural ASA holds multiple patents on CLA and supports continued research into the health benefits of this molecule.

Natural Inc. is a division of Natural ASA, a publicly traded Norwegian company and a leader in the development of scientifically based ingredients for the worldwide nutrition industry. Natural Inc. exclusively markets and promotes Tonalin® CLA as a dietary supplement.

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