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Merger of ANI, BASF Approved by European Commission


The European Commission approved the proposed acquisition of BASF Printing Systems and ANI Printing Inks by the European private equity firm CVC on Oct. 29, 2004. The investigation has shown that the proposed transactions, which will involve the combination of the acquired businesses, will not significantly impede effective competition in the European Union. The group, that will be headquartered in Stuttgart/Germany, employs 3 600 people worldwide and had sales in 2003 of EUR 854 million.

Peter Koivula, president of ANI, will become CEO of the new company. He will be joined by Niclas Nyström, CFO; Dr. Stefan Wegener, operations & synergies; and Frauke Meissner, procurement. Mikael Aspelin will be responsible for legal affairs, administration & HR, Bertil Ahlberg and Dieter Finna will take care of corporate communication and market intelligence. Dr Michael Stumpp, president of BASF Printing Systems, will take up a new position within the BASF group.

Mr. Koivula, future CEO of the new group, said, "Through this combination of two well known ink suppliers we have not only created a leading European company that can service the demanding expectations of our customers, but also a global supplier of complete printing system solutions that can offer better products and services for the graphics and packaging industry. The management's financial involvement in the buy-out also strengthens the commitments and feeling of ownership that will help the company to better be able to exploit the opportunities that arise in an increasingly globalized and competitive market.