Zeneca to seek divestment of its worldwide acetochlor business

ZENECA TO SEEK DIVESTMENT OF ITS WORLDWIDE ACETOCHLOR BUSINESS Zeneca Agrochemicals plans to divest its worldwide acetochlor corn herbicide business, comprising all straight acetochlor products and all acetochlor and atrazine mixtures, to address the concerns of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the European Commission (EC) in connection with the proposed formation of Syngenta. As announced on December 2, 1999, Syngenta AG will be formed from the planned spin-off and merger of Zeneca Agrochemicals, the crop protection business of AstraZeneca, and Novartis' crop protection and seeds businesses. Zeneca Agrochemicals currently has a strong presence with its acetochlor products in the United States, Latin America, South Africa and Eastern Europe. The products of the business to be sold are marketed under brand names including SURPASS® , TOPNOTCH® , and FULTIME (primarily in the US), and TROPHY and RELAY (primarily in the rest of the world). It is Zeneca's expectation and a requirement of both the FTC and the EC that the acetochlor business will be sold to another major agricultural chemicals company with a significant presence in the U.S. and other key international markets. Zeneca Agrochemicals is the crop protection and plant science business of AstraZeneca. It is the fourth largest supplier to this international market, with sales in 1999 of $2.7bn in over 130 countries. AstraZeneca (Registered Office, London) is a leading international pharmaceuticals and bioscience group with 1999 sales of $17.8bn. For further information contact: UK Judith Auchard, tel: 44 1 428 655827 e-mail: judith.j.auchard@aguk.zeneca.com US Rachel Bloom, tel: 1 302 886 7858 e-mail: rachel.bloom@astrazeneca.com SW Staffan Ternby, tel: 46 8 553 261 07 ------------------------------------------------------------ Please visit http://www.bit.se for further information The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2000/06/19/20000619BIT00980/bit0001.doc http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2000/06/19/20000619BIT00980/bit0002.pdf

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