By Liz White, UT staffLudwigshafen, Germany-BASF AG has said that Degussa is talking exclusively to BASF about the sale of its construction chemicals activities. When Degussa announced that it planned to sell the business, on 14 Dec 2005, BASF rapidly expressed an interest in acquiring the activities, and said it would like to be the only bidder. BASF is keen to strengthen its portfolio of construction chemicals, and has now made a firm bid for the business. "The joint aim is to conclude the purchase agreement for the transaction shortly," said a BASF statement. Degussa's construction chemicals activities, which has sales of Euro1800 million ($2120 million) and EBIT of Euro 201 million in fiscal 2004, covers a wide range of materials including polyurethane-based products for indoor and outdoor sports surfaces as well as building systems, flooring applications, coatings and façades and expansion joints. The operation has a global workforce of about 7400 employees and markets over 40 000 products in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The business operates in two segments: admixture systems and construction systems and introduces more than 100 new products every year, BASF reported. Most of Degussa's PU-related construction products are in the construction systems unit, which supplies customers in the building trade specialising in concrete and masonry renovation, waterproofing, sealing, adhesive systems, tile fixing, performance flooring, coatings and façades, exterior insulation and expansion joints. "