News Release

The Carlyle Group Acquires AZ Electronic Materials from Clariant for €338 Million


London - Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group today announces that it has signed an agreement with Clariant to acquire AZ Electronic Materials, for €338 million (CHF518 million). The acquisition will be made through a combination of equity provided by The Carlyle Group, and debt financing by Mizuho Corporate Bank. The acquisition is expected to close in autumn 2004, and is subject to approval by anti-trust authorities.

AZ Electronic Materials is a leading global supplier of electronic materials to the semiconductor and flat panel display industries. It has research and development and manufacturing sites in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, France and the United States, and a global sales team. AZ has approximately 800 employees worldwide and 2003 revenues were €291 million.

“AZ has great market positions. It is the leader in the flat panel display market, and number three in the semiconductor market. AZ boasts an impressive team of researchers, developers, salesmen and production experts, and we are very positive about the future growth potential of the company. We are fully committed to supporting and investing in the growth of AZ, and will be building a facility in China in the near future, and expanding the Taiwan site,” said Robert Easton, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group.

Carlyle has specific expertise in semiconductors and electronic materials through its buyout and venture activities, including investments in Jazz Semiconductor, Ness and CPU Technology, enabling Carlyle to support the AZ management team from both a technology and industry perspective. Carlyle’s global presence, with teams across Asia, United States and Europe, position the firm well to support and develop AZ’s business internationally.

The AZ management team will be supported by some experienced executives who will join as additions to the team, particularly in finance functions.

# # #