Henkel KgaA, the German group providing branded consumer products and industrial systems, has agreed to sell its chemical division Cognis to a consortium of financial investors comprising of Schroder Ventures, an European private equity specialist based in London, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, the private equity branch of Goldman Sachs. The transaction is based on an enterprise value of Euro2.6bn. Henkel has succeeded in finding purchasers who can support the continued development of Cognis. The definite purchase agreement was signed by the parties on September 12, 2001. Closing is planned for end of November 2001. Due to the current conditions in the financial markets arising from the tragic events in the United States, Henkel has granted to the investors the absolute right to withdraw from the contract within two months. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including relevant regulatory approvals. The proceeds from the sale of Cognis will increase Henkel's debt capacity substantially and will be used for the further development of the core businesses. Cognis Group comprises of Oleochemicals, Care Chemicals and Organic Specialties. With 9,100 employees in 50 countries, Cognis generated sales of Euro3.2bn in 2000 and accounted for 23 per cent of Henkel Group's total sales. In the first half-year of 2001, Cognis sales increased 4 per cent to Euro1.5bn and operating profit rose 3.6 per cent to Euro116m.