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Rhodia and PCS reach agreement on U.S. merchant phosphoric acid business

Rhodia and PCS reach agreement on U.S. merchant phosphoric acid business

News release
Paris, March 15, 2000 - Following Rhodia's announcement of its acquisition of Albright & Wilson, Rhodia disclosed today further details of the agreement it has reached to divest the U.S. merchant phosphoric acid business conducted by Albright & Wilson to Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS). Albright & Wilson and PCS have been operating the business via a 50/50 partnership.

In reviewing Rhodia's acquisition of Albright & Wilson, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission expressed concerns over potentially high levels of market concentration in the U.S. phosphoric acid business. To address the concerns, Rhodia reached this agreement with PCS.

Specific components of the transaction with PCS include:

· Rhodia will divest Albright & Wilson's U.S. merchant phosphoric acid business - with sales of approximately $50-60 million - through the sale of the partnership to PCS. The partnership operates a purified phosphoric acid plant in Aurora, N.C., and a phosphoric acid blending plant in Cincinnati, Ohio.

· Rhodia will integrate the polyphosphoric acid, potassium phosphate and phosphate salts businesses that previously had been conducted by the partnership.

· Rhodia will retain its own merchant phosphoric acid market position and current U.S. production facilities. Moreover, Rhodia will also purchase acid through a long-term contract from PCS.

"We're pleased to announce this agreement with PCS and move ahead with our acquisition of Albright & Wilson," said David Eckert, Rhodia deputy president and head of the Consumer Specialties Division.

Rhodia, one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, contributes to improving the quality of life by developing value-added products, services and solutions for the beauty, clothing, foodstuffs and healthcare markets as well as for the environment, transport and industry. Rhodia employs 24,800 people worldwide and recorded sales of 5,525 million Euros in 1999. Rhodia is listed on the Paris Bourse and the New York stock exchange.

Contacts
Press relations
Jean-Christophe Huertas
Tel: 33 1 55 38 42 51

Kim Rotondo, Rhodia US Press Relations
Tel: 1 609 860-3616

Investor relations
Angélina Palus
Tel: 33 1 55 38 42 99