- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - German chemicals giant BASF has agreed to sell assets of two high-performance pigments in order to gain U.S. approval of its proposed $5.1 billion acquisition of Swiss rival Ciba Holding Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that BASF has settled charges that its pending buyout would be anticompetitive by agreeing to sell certain assets to an agency-approved buyer within six months.

“High performance pigments are used to provide color to a large number of products across the U.S. economy, including cars, building materials, construction equipment, inks and plastics,” said acting FTC Bureau of Competition Director David Wales.

BASF agreed last September to buy Ciba for $5.1 billion in cash _ a move that augments the German company’s presence worldwide. Ciba’s board and shareholders back the deal.

Last month, BASF agreed to sell off several units to win European Union antitrust approval. EU regulators have said the takeover could cause competition problems for several special chemical products used to make paper, plastics and skin care products.

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