24th June 2019

AKZONOBEL COMPLETES SPECIALTY CHEMICALS SALES

Global coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel has completed the sale of its Specialty Chemicals business to the Carlyle Group and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, concluding a process that has been ongoing since early 2017. The US$12.5-billion deal has produced two focused businesses: AkzoNobel Paints and Coatings, and Specialty Chemicals, now owned by Carlyle and GIC.

In April 2017, AkzoNobel detailed that its plan was to sell or list Specialty Chemicals, accounting for about one-third of AkzoNobel's sales and profits, within the next year. The division was then valued at about $9.9-billion.

The separation of the Specialty Chemicals business has been discussed for some time, but the formal announcement was seen as a response to rival PPG Industries’ (Pittsburgh) repeated but rebuffed attempts at a takeover, which began in March 2017.

According to AkzoNobel, its Board of Management and the Supervisory Board concluded that a private sale of the Specialty Chemicals business to Carlyle and GIC was in the best interests of the company and Specialty Chemicals itself, along with respective stakeholders.

AkzoNobel will be returning the majority of net proceeds from the sale of Specialty Chemicals to its shareholders, in compliance with the Extraordinary General Meeting held at the end of November 2017. Werner Fuhrmann, CEO of Specialty Chemicals, returned from retirement in August of that same year to help guide the business sale, and will now retire once more. Charles Shaver is to take his place. 

Shaver stepped down as CEO of Axalta in early September, but kept his role as chairman of the board. Previously, Shaver served as chief executive officer and president of the TPC Group, his career also including a number of roles with General Chemical, Arch Chemicals and the Dow Chemical Co..

“I am delighted to assume my new role at Specialty Chemicals and look forward to working with the management team, Carlyle and GIC to deliver long-term success,” said Shaver.

“Specialty Chemicals has a strong global presence and a talented and dedicated team and I believe there is significant opportunity to drive additional growth through innovation and customer focus to build on the company’s leading positions in its markets.”

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