Arysta obtains investment grade rating from JCR

TOKYO (August 31, 2004) - Arysta LifeScience obtained credit rating of "BBB-" for long term senior debt from Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd., the most trusted local rating agency in Japan. The rating agency officially made the following announcement as of August 31, 2004.

Arysta LifeScience: BBB- Outlook (Stable)

Arysta LifeScience is engaged worldwide in distribution, sales & marketing and development of agrochemicals. It is an equity method affiliate of both Tomen and Sojitz. A private equity fund also holds shares of Arysta LifeScience. Arysta LifeScience has been pushing for reforms under the leadership of the new president and CEO. It is strengthening its independence from each of the shareholders. JCR is concerned about probable intensification of competition from rivals for the mainstay profitable agrochemicals. Arysta LifeScience plans to increase the earnings through acquisition of licensing rights to products and enhancement of distribution network in the emerging markets. JCR will pay attention to the going of these developments as well as their impacts on earnings and financial structure. Outlook for the rating will be stable for the foreseeable future.