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AkzoNobel reaches final agreements for decorative paints divestments



By Tim Wright



Published August 27, 2008
AkzoNobel has agreed to sell its Crown Paints decorative paints business in the UK and Ireland to Endless LLP, an independent private equity house. AkzoNobel has also agreed to a deal to sell two Belgian brands to Rieu Investissements S.A., a French producer of coatings. These divestments are a consequence of the commitment package which was agreed with the European Commission in connection with AkzoNobel's acquisition of Imperial Chemical Industries plc (ICI) in January 2008.

In the UK and Ireland, the transaction includes the manufacturing and warehouse sites in Darwen, Hull, Warrington, Dublin and Belfast, as well as the Crown Decorator Centre network and a brand portfolio encompassing brands such as Crown, Crown Trade, Berger, MacPherson, Permoglaze and Sandtex.

It also includes the company's export activities (including export to Cyprus) related to these brands and a license for the use of its Sadolin brand in the UK and Ireland. Subject to the approval by the European Commission, the deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2008. No financial details were disclosed. Endless LLP is an independent private equity house specializing in the provision of equity funding to support re-financing, buy-out, turnaround and property transactions for the corporate mid market. The company is based in the UK with offices in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Northern Ireland. The company was established in December 2005 and to date has invested in more than 20 acquisitions across the UK.

With respect to the Belgian market, AkzoNobel has agreed to sell the DeKeyn and Linitop brands to Rieu Investissements S.A. The transaction also includes a license for the use of its Sadolin brand in Belgium for a period of five years. As part of this transaction, AkzoNobel has also agreed to sell its stake in Owatrol International S.L. and related intellectual property to Rieu. Subject to the approval by the European Commission, the deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2008. No financial details were disclosed.

Rieu Investissements S.A. is a family-owned firm founded in 1923. The company, based in Bondoufle, near Paris, manufactures and sells various types of coatings for industrial and consumer applications.

In June, AkzoNobel already reported the divestment of two Canadian brands, as required by the Canadian Competition Bureau. Subject to approval by the European Commission the sales announced conclude the divestments agreed with regulatory authorities in connection with the ICI acquisition.



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