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NOW FROM LONZA- LARCH ARABINOGALACTAN (LAG)

Lonza acquires Arabinogalactan business assets from Larex, Inc.

Basel, 17.05.2006 - Lonza Group announces the acquisition of assets which comprise Larex, Inc.’s Larch Arabinogalactan business. This strategic acquisition includes among other things, intellectual property, proprietary processing technology, manufacturing operations in Cohasset, Minnesota (USA), certain inventory and customer lists.

Larex, Inc. is the exclusive North American vertically integrated manufacturer of the nutritional compound Larch Arabinogalactan (“LAG”), a natural soluble fiber extracted from harvested Larch trees. LAG is extracted and purified through a patented and proprietary process to deliver functionally optimized products sold into the health science, consumer and industrial markets.

LAG, a natural, bioactive compound for use in human and animal nutrition, personal care and industrial applications, is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). It has been found to offer many significant benefits, the most important ones being in the fields of immune enhancement and digestive health. LAG products provide multifunctional properties either in stand-alone products or when combined with other ingredients to enhance product performance.

With the acquisition of Larch Arabinogalactan, Lonza further expands its portfolio of nutrition businesses within Organic Fine & Performance Chemicals. This Lonza division thus continues to actively broaden its innovative offerings and complements the existing product line. Further information can be found at www.lonza.com