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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CONFIRMS Aa3 RATING FOR BASF WITH STABLE OUTLOOK; P-1 SHORT TERM ISSUER RATING AFFIRMED

20 Jun 2006

London, 20 June 2006 -- Moody's Investors Service has confirmed the Aa3 rating for the senior unsecured debt of BASF AG (BASF) and its guaranteed subsidiaries. The P-1 short term issuer rating remains unchanged and was affirmed. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

The rating action concludes the review for possible downgrade of BASF's Aa3 senior unsecured debt rating that was initiated on 4 January 2006 following the announcement by BASF of its intention to acquire Engelhard.

Moody's said that the confirmation of the ratings reflects the favourable assessment it makes of the three acquisitions announced by BASF during the first half of 2006 for an aggregate consideration (including assumed debt and pension obligations) of Euro 7.8 billion including US catalyst maker Engelhard, the construction chemicals unit of Degussa and US-based resins maker Johnson Polymer. While each of these deals offers a good strategic fit with BASF's existing operations, they should enable the group to achieve leading positions in markets such as emission catalysts and construction chemicals that enjoy above industry growth and innovation prospects as well as further strengthen its already strong technology capabilities. Characterised by relatively more stable and higher margins than more basic chemicals activities, the businesses to be added to BASF's portfolio should contribute to further enhance the quality of its earnings and cash flow profile that has already benefited in recent years from the realignment of the group's business portfolio and comprehensive restructuring initiatives.

While the combined financing of the three transactions through existing cash balances and borrowings will have a material effect of the group's debt position, this has to be viewed in the light of the significant financial flexibility built by the group as it generated a total net cash surplus (post investments and cash returns to shareholders) close to Euro 4 billion over the past two fiscal years.

Looking ahead, Moody's stable outlook is based on the premise that the continuation of relatively benign trading conditions together with management's restraint with regard to acquisitions and share buy-backs will allow BASF to generate material free cash flow in the near to intermediate term and apply it in reduction of debt. In turn, this should help BASF quickly reposition its credit metrics in line with its current rating, including Retained Cash Flow to Net Debt in the mid to high forties and Free Cash Flow to Net debt in the mid to high twenties.

Based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, BASF is the world's largest chemicals group by revenues, reporting global sales of around EUR42.7 billion and EBIT of EUR5.8 billion in 2005.

Frankfurt
Michael West
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
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London
Francois Lauras
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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