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Cognis to Exclusively License Natural ASA’s Conjugated Linoleic Acid for Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods

Düsseldorf, 24 April 2002 Global specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients company, Cognis, and Norwegian research and development company, Natural ASA, announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to grant Cognis an exclusive license to Natural’s Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) IP, know-how, and trademarks. The agreement includes rights to the worldwide marketing and manufacturing of Natural’s products and technology for dietary supplements, functional food, personal care, and pharmaceuticals. Natural’s Tonalin brand is primarily marketed today as a dietary supplement with benefits for lean body mass management. Other health inducing applications for CLA, an essential fatty acid, are being developed.

“Dietary supplements and functional foods are two of the key market segments of Cognis’ designated growth business unit, Nutrition & Health”, explains Paul Allen, head of the Nutrition & Health business at Cognis. “Building on the scientific work of Natural ASA, Cognis will be able to considerably grow the market for CLA through the talents of our worldwide sales and marketing organization, as well as through our know-how in oleochemistry.”

It is expected that a final agreement will be achieved in time to enable Cognis to begin assuming responsibility for Natural’s business activities in July 2002.

About Cognis:
Cognis is the name under which the chemical activities of the Henkel Group were set up as a separate legal entity on August 1, 1999. On November 30, 2001, Cognis was acquired by the investors Permira Funds, GS Capital Partners, and Schroder Ventures Life Sciences Funds. In 2000, Cognis recorded sales of 3.2 billion euros and an operating profit of 220 million euros. Compared to the previous year, this represents a rise of 11.6% in sales and 23% in operating profit. In the first three quarters of 2001, sales came to 2.4 billion euros, and operating profit to 166 million euros.

Cognis is a worldwide leader in specialty chemicals with almost 9,100 employees in close to 50 countries on all continents. Cognis is composed of 5 business units: Nutrition & Health, Care Chemicals, Oleochemicals, Functional Products, and Process Chemicals. Major customers are in the detergents and cleaners industry, the cosmetics industry, nutrition & health, and a number of other industrial markets such as coatings and inks, textiles, and plastics, as well as agrosolutions and mining chemicals.

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.

About CLA:
CLA is a polyunsaturated 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.

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