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Rhodia joins forces with Nippon Chemical and Hokko Chemical to provide phosphine products world-wide (english only)

Rhodia joins forces with Nippon Chemical and Hokko Chemical to provide phosphine products world-wide (english only)

News release

Paris, June 12, 2001 – Rhodia’s Phosphorus and Performance Derivatives (PPD) enterprise today announced expansion of its Phosphine product range, through partnerships with leading Japanese chemical companies, Nippon Chemical Industrial Co. Limited (NCI) and Hokko Chemical Industry Co. Limited (Hokko).

Rhodia is the world’s leading producer of phosphorus based speciality chemicals including Phosphine which is used internally to manufacture its flagship products, PROBAN® Flame Retardant and TOLCIDE® Biocide. Through these new partnerships Rhodia will now offer a broad range of phosphine derivatives for the fine chemicals, pharmaceutical and petrochemical markets.

Jerry Strong, Strategic Planning Manager, Rhodia commented: "These partnerships will allow Rhodia to substantially increase its world-wide product offering. By combining our technology and production capabilities with those of NCI and Hokko, we will be able to provide customers with an outstanding range of phosphine products, including alkyl and aryl phosphines and chiral catalyst ligands".

Rhodia estimates the size of the phosphine derivatives market is 280m Euros (excluding phosphonium salts), expanding by 10 to 15% every year. This growth is attributed to increased demand from the fine chemicals, pharmaceutical and petrochemicals markets. Necessary components in these markets are catalysts, of which phosphines are an essential part. Within the pharmaceutical market the rapid growth of chiral chemistry requires new and better chiral phosphines and within petrochemicals new generation phosphines are replacing conventional Oxo catalyst ligands.

Director at NCI, Teruo Fujiwara, added: " We have sold high quality phosphine derivatives for over 20 years, but supply was limited mainly to the Japanese market. Through this newly-formed partnership with Rhodia and Hokko, we can build a global strategy for phosphine products".

Kenji Takahashi, Director, Fine Chemicals Development & Marketing, Hokko, concluded: " We are looking forward to introducing and supplying our line of Grignard based organophosphines through Rhodia’s world-wide sales network, and intend to increase our R&D focus to bring innovative new phosphine products to the marketplace"

Earlier this year Rhodia announced its entry into the manufacture of Chiral phosphine ligands with an exclusive contract to produce the DuPHOS family of products for Chirotech. Further announcements of partnerships and manufacturing contracts for proprietary phosphine ligands are expected in the near future.

Rhodia is one of the world's leaders in specialty chemicals providing products and services to the automotive, health care, fragrance, apparel, electronics, personal care and environmental markets. Rhodia generated net sales of 7.4 billion euros in 2000 and employs 30,000 people world-wide. Rhodia is listed on the Paris and New York stock exchanges.

Rhodia’s Phosphorus & Performance Derivatives (PPD) enterprise is a dynamic technology-driven business serving customers in the agriculture, automotive, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, textiles and water treatment markets. By working closely with clients and possessing detailed understanding of their processes, PPD develops new products and technologies and provides innovative solutions to meet customer needs.

NCI is one of Japan’s leading manufacturers of inorganic chemicals with more than 100 years history. NCI develops and manufactures organic, electronic and other specialty chemical products and contributes to society by providing and developing products used in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, photographic and polymer industries world-wide. Our top priority is to provide high quality products that are environmentally safe, which are safe and reliable during manufacturing and after completion. NCI generated sales of 45 billion yen in 2000 and employs 757 people. NCI is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.

Hokko has been actively engaged in agrochemicals business in the Japanese market as a leading manufacturer/distributor. In the field of specialty chemicals, especially application of organometalic chemistry, Hokko has also established its secure position in manufacturing new technology-intensive and high value-added products, which has led Hokko to enjoy the leading manufacturer in the world market of fine chemicals. Hokko generated net sales of 44 billion J.Yen in 2000 and employs 741 people. Hokko is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange,1st Section

Rhodia press contacts:

Katie Wells
Tel: +44 (0)1923 485676

Beverley Miles
Tel: +44(0)1923 485715