Africa’s number one coatings company, Kansai Plascon Africa Limited has partnered with Astra management and staff to acquire a 63.25 percent interest in the issued share capital in Astra Industries Limited, from the Finance Trust of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited. The deal, worth in the region of $5,5million, will place Kansai Plascon at the head of the coatings market in Zimbabwe. The acquisition shows Kansai Plascon’s faith in Zimbabwe, which is in the process of rebuilding its economy, as well as the confidence it places in the experienced management team that heads up Astra.
Astra Paints, Astra’s major subsidiary, is Zimbabwe’s leading paint company. The other operating subsidiary is Astra Chemicals, which markets and distributes a diversified range of chemical products to industry. Astra Paints is currently the largest paint manufacturer in Zimbabwe and has two operating factories in Harare and Bulawayo. Astra Paints also enjoys 40% of the market share in Zimbabwe, with an especially strong footprint in Harare and Bulawayo.
One of Kansai Plascon’s key strategies is to expand its leadership position into the rest of Africa. The inclusion of Astra Paints in Zimbabwe further strengthens Kansai’s presence in Southern Africa, as it already has factories and brand presence in Botswana, Namibia, Zambiaand Malawi. Where Kansai Plascon does not have a factory in a region, it exports out of South Africa into retail outlets and directly to contractors. It has been exporting to various countries in Africa since 2004 including: Mozambique, Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya and Nigeria.
Hiroshi Ishino, president of Kansai Paint, indicated that it has been Kansai’s intention to invest in Africa through its holding in Kansai Plascon. This investment, he said, is the first major acquisition since Kansai Paint acquired Freeworld in 2011.
According to Kansai Plascon’s chief executive officer, Nauman Malik, the acquisition of Astra Paints, Zimbabwe, will further entrench Kansai Plascon’s leadership position as the number one coatings company in Africa. “The acquisition will allow the organization to focus further on its expansion plans and its aim to continue leading the industry.”