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NPCA, FSCT merger negotiations renewed

By Jason Lawton | October 29, 2007

During today's opening general session at the National Paint and Coatings Association's (NPCA) 120th annual meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, NPCA president Andy Doyle announced that merger discussions with the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology (FSCT) are back on the table after a representative  from FSCT presented a proposal for merging the two organizations at NPCA's board of directors meeting. This latest announcement follows a proposed merger initiated on behalf of NPCA earlier this year that failed to see the two organizations come to an agreement.

"The boards of both organizations have endorsed and agreed to begin a merger process that will lead to a final proposal by March 2008," Doyle said.

FSCT's executive director, Joseph Pontoski, confirmed the announcement during a phone conversation. "FSCT has presented NPCA's board of directors with a document that addresses NPCA's previous merger proposal for FSCT to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of NPCA," Pontoski said. "Ultimately the membership of FSCT and NPCA will decide the matter. The leaders of both organizations will be meeting very soon to develop a document to present to the membership of both organizations.

"If negotiations are successful the intent would be to combine the American Coatings Show (ACS) and the International Coatings Exposition (ICE) in 2008," Pontoski continued.

"Assuming that we're able to agree to a merger, ICE will be cancelled and combined with the 2008 American Coatings Show," Doyle said.

A representative of the FSCT's Board of Directors presented the following statement at the NPCA's Board of Directors meeting.

On behalf of the FSCT I would like to make the following statements.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. President and members of the NPCA Board, thank you very much for allowing me to address you today.
For the past 85 years FSCT has successfully provided for the educational and professional development of our members and the entire coatings industry.  Through our world class publications, conferences and exhibitions, the FSCT has served as the technical arm of the industry. This role becomes even more critical as the regulatory environment continues to affect changes upon our industry.
It is clear through our interactions with our members and the industry that there is tremendous concern and confusion about the separate paths that the FSCT and NPCA are taking.  This divide will prove detrimental to all our companies, our members, and ultimately to each of our respective associations.
While the FSCT Board of Directors agreed with many of the points addressed in the NPCA merger proposal submitted to us last Spring, the timelines specified did not allow us to adequately address these proposals with our membership in accordance with our Bylaws.  Beyond all that, the structural changes in our industry point to the need for a single, strong, effective industry association.

With this in mind, we the Board of FSCT have agreed to endorse a merger of the FSCT and the NPCA.  We commit to educating our members on the benefits of this merger in order to affect an affirmative vote.

The FSCT Board proposes the following:
1. The FSCT will merge with the NPCA and become the technical and scientific arm (including technical publications) of the NPCA, as a wholly owned subsidiary, preserving the mission and purpose of the FSCT through the NPCA's acquisition of its assets and liabilities.

2.  An immediate effort will be made to combine the International Coatings Expo and the American Coatings Show in 2008. Concurrently, the FSCT and the NPCA will work together to determine how best to honor any related contractual commitments and upon the successful completion of the merger, any remaining financial obligations will be satisfied by the newly combined organization.

With agreement on these points, the FSCT commits to the following action plan:

- FSCT representatives will meet with NPCA by December 31, 2007 to complete the details of the merger and to develop an implementation plan for its completion.
- A plan to promote and explain the details of the merger will be developed by January 31, 2008.
- A final merger plan will be presented to the FSCT and NPCA membership for vote by March 1, 2008 with approvals to be completed by April 1st 2008.

The FSCT believes that this merger of the FSCT and the NPCA would result in the strengthening of both organization’s programs and resources and provide the highest level of benefits and services to our members and the industry."