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Ecolab Provides 2013 Adjusted EPS Forecast

Consistent with its previous forecast, Ecolab expects to deliver full year 2012 adjusted diluted earnings per share in the $2.96 to $3.00 range despite the delayed passage of the 2012 R&D tax credit in early January 2013. As Ecolab previously announced, the credit was expected to benefit the fourth quarter of 2012 by $0.01 per share. Due to the delayed approval by Congress, the $0.01 per share R&D tax credit benefit will now be recorded as a discrete tax item in the first quarter of 2013 and not included in our 2012 results. Special gains and charges for the full year 2012 are expected to be a net charge of approximately $0.60 per share.

Ecolab’s adjusted diluted earnings per share were $2.54 in 2011. Ecolab expects to announce final 2012 results February 26, 2013.

About Ecolab

With 2011 pro forma sales of $11 billion and more than 40,000 employees, Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that provide and protect clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments. Ecolab delivers comprehensive programs and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets in more than 160 countries. For more Ecolab news and information, visit www.ecolab.com.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This communication contains certain statements relating to future events and our intentions, beliefs, expectations and predictions for the future which are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words or phrases such as “will likely result,” “are expected to,” “will continue,” “is anticipated,” “we believe,” “we expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “may,” “will,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “target,” “forecast” (including the negative or variations thereof) or similar terminology used in connection with any discussion of future plans, actions or events generally identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding economic and market trends; synergies from and potential accretion associated with the Champion acquisition; the expected timing of completion of the Champion acquisition; our financial and business prospects, including forecasted 2012 and 2013 business results, including sales growth, margin improvements, synergies, pension expense, special gains and charges, including R&D tax credit benefits; dilution associated with the Vehicle Care sale; adjusted diluted earnings per share; and the longer-term outlook. These statements are based on the current expectations of management of the company. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements included in this communication. In particular, the ultimate results of any restructuring, integration and business improvement actions, including cost synergies, depend on a number of factors, including the development of final plans, the impact of local regulatory requirements regarding employee terminations, the time necessary to develop and implement the restructuring and other business improvement initiatives and the level of success achieved through such actions in improving competitiveness, efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, as it relates to the Champion acquisition, these risks and uncertainties include (i) the risk that the regulatory approvals or clearances required for the acquisition may not be obtained, or that required regulatory approvals may delay the acquisition or result in the imposition of conditions that could have a material adverse effect on the company or cause the company to abandon the acquisition, (ii) the risk that the conditions to the closing of the acquisition may not be satisfied, (iii) the risk that a material adverse change, event or occurrence may affect the company or Champion prior to the closing of the acquisition and may delay the acquisition or cause the company to abandon the acquisition, (iv) problems that may arise in successfully integrating the businesses of the company and Champion, which may result in the combined business not operating as effectively and efficiently as expected, (v) the possibility that the acquisition may involve unexpected costs, unexpected liabilities or unexpected delays, (vi) the risk that the businesses of the company or Champion may suffer as a result of uncertainty surrounding the acquisition and (vii) the risk that disruptions from the transaction will harm relationships with customers, employees and suppliers.

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