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Axalta to Purchase Valspar's Wood Coatings Business, Teknos to Expand Wood Coatings Business with Feyco Treffert Acquisition, Berger Paints and Chugoku Sign MOU for Marine & Industrial Paints

SpecialChem / Mark Drukenbrod – Apr 20, 2017

Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, Axalta opened a Refinish Training Center in Dubai and Milliken acquired pigment manufacturer Keystone Aniline. MIT researchers created a coating that prevents pipeline clogging and a University of North Texas professor has made a ceramic coating that reduces glass reflectivity. There’s much more where we continue and as always, you can go to the above items now using the links, or checkout our latest stories, which we’ll get to right away…

Axalta to Purchase Valspar's Wood Coatings Business

Axalta has entered into a definitive agreement with The Valspar Corporation and The Sherwin-Williams Company to acquire the assets related to Valspar’s North American Industrial Wood Coatings business for $420 million in cash. Valspar is divesting the business in connection with the reviews by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB) of the proposed acquisition of Valspar by Sherwin-Williams. Known in the market as Valspar Wood, the business has a number of widely known and respected brands including Zenith®, Lustre Lac™ and Graintone™, among others. “This is an outstanding opportunity for Axalta to enter the large Industrial Wood Coatings market with an industry-leading portfolio of products and customers,” said Axalta Chairman and CEO, Charlie Shaver. “The strong reputation enjoyed by these brands among a long-term customer base will provide an excellent platform for future growth in this important market. Our shared commitment to technology and excellence in application services, as well as a strong pipeline of new products, will enable us to meet the needs of both current and new customers.”

Teknos to Acquire Feyco Treffert, a Wood Coatings Business

Teknos has entered into an agreement with Looser Holding AG, an industrial holding company recently acquired by Arbonia AG, to acquire its global wood coatings division, Feyco Treffert. The acquisition covers the companies of Feyco AG, in St. Margrethen, Switzerland, and Treffert Coatings GmbH with its head office in Alzenau, Germany, together with their subsidiaries in China, Malaysia and the USA. Teknos is also acquiring the Schekolin AG company with the associated production plant in Bendern, Liechtenstein. “The acquisition is an important part of Teknos’ growth strategy. The acquisition strengthens Teknos’ position in the wood segment globally, provides access to new markets in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and the USA, and opens up new business opportunities in the wood and construction industry,” says Kim Smith, SVP, Industrial Wood, Teknos Group.

Berger Paints and Chugoku Sign MOU for Marine & Industrial Paints

Berger Paints and Chugoku Marine Paints of Japan have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) for cooperation and collaboration in the fields of marine and related industrial paints in India. The MOU envisages joint efforts in marketing, supplying and purchasing marine related industrial paints. Subsequently, the parties have a view of establishing a joint venture company as their final objective. Mr. Abhijit Roy. CEO, Berger Paints, mentioned that “Chugoku and Berger together have considerable strength in technical expertise, product, market knowledge and relevant skills and infrastructure and these are expected to considerably benefit the territory's market requirements.”

Axalta Coating Systems Opens Regional Auto Refinish Training Centre in Dubai

Axalta Coating Systems has launched the first of its kind Automotive Refinish Training Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Centre will provide expert training in the use of Axalta products that are designed for the repainting of vehicles in body shops. The opening of the next generation facility follows the October 2016 opening of Axalta’s regional office in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA).

The Dubai Automotive Refinish Training Centre, Axalta’s 47th such center in the world, will host world class training programs for body shop, repair and refinish technicians to hone their skills and learn to use the latest coating technologies found in Spies Hecker®, Standox® and Cromax®, Axalta’s premium refinish coating brands, and other refinish brands which are available in eighteen countries in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.

“We are excited to be able to expand our presence in Dubai and the region over such a short time span,” said Charlie Shaver, Chairman and CEO of Axalta, who formally inaugurated the new facility. “The opening of this world-class customer learning and development facility highlights our commitment to invest in the region and support our customers. This interactive training and education facility establishes a solid foundation that will provide continuous support and development to vehicle repair specialists that will both enhance the level of refinishing services and optimize the use of Axalta technologies in the region.”

Axalta’s consistent investment in product development and technology solutions has resulted in innovative waterborne refinish coating systems that enable its customers to reduce waste while being more productive, profitable and sustainable. The Centre will enable customers to maximize their use of these products which can reduce the time and energy needed to repaint vehicles.

"Decisions related to automotive repair are following global trends in favour of environmentally responsible products, as well as enabling refinish technicians to improve productivity at their work place while delivering superior results,” explained Fadi Medlej, Managing Director of MENA for Axalta. “The new facility will meet the needs of refinish technicians who will be trained in the use of all our products, and especially our latest waterborne products, to provide vehicles with a durable and beautiful finish.”

During the launch of the Automotive Refinish Training Centre, Axalta agents, customers and regional partners, and members of the media, participated in a series of hand-on activities including spray painting miniature cars, mixing colors and experiencing the differences between waterborne and solventborne coatings.

In 2016, Axalta spent $180 million on technology and product research and development which enabled the company to remain a leading supplier of coatings to light vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the number one global coatings supplier in the refinish segment. The company is also the largest global coatings supplier to heavy duty truck and bus manufacturers and the number two global supplier of electrical insulation, powder and electrodeposition coatings.

Milliken Acquires Keystone Aniline, a Pigments Manufacturer for Inks and Coatings

Milliken & Company recently announced that it has acquired Keystone Aniline Corporation, a global leader in dyes, pigments, pigment dispersions and polymers, headquartered in Chicago, Ill. This move joins two successful organizations with complementary expertise and capabilities to offer customers a broader array of advanced colorant solutions, technologies and services. Further, the acquisition enables customers to streamline their supply chains by allowing them to obtain a wider range of products from a single source. Customers will see enhanced reliability of supply through Milliken’s acquirement of Keystone’s multiple facilities around the world.

“This acquisition has far-reaching benefits for everyone involved,” said Russ Rudolph, Vice President, Performance Colorants & Ingredients for Milliken. “Our combined customers win through greater availability of proven colorant technologies and resources that can help them penetrate and grow new markets to gain a competitive advantage. Our suppliers can expect new opportunities that will allow them to play a greater role in serving our expanded organization. From a business perspective, we look forward to accelerating our growth and creating greater value.”

Both Milliken and Keystone currently provide colorant technologies to the agricultural, plastics, coatings, inks and household institutional and industrial markets. Their customers rarely overlap because, until today, the two companies had specialized in different product areas. With a core focus on polymeric colorants, Milliken’s Performance Colorants & Ingredients business is renowned for its innovative chemistry and ability to synthesize new molecules, while Keystone brings exceptional formulation skills and application development technology to the table, creating a robust portfolio.

”By combining our product portfolios and specialized colorant knowledge with Milliken’s solutions and expertise, we create business and market synergies that will drive new global opportunities and better meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said John Andrews, CEO of Keystone. “The resulting organization will possess greater breadth and depth across the board, from research and development to formulation capabilities, quality control and product stewardship. This partnership will be a part of Milliken’s future growth and success.”

Both entities are privately held, family-owned companies with long histories in the colorants industry: 97 years for Keystone and 152 for Milliken. They share fundamental values including a strong emphasis on business ethics, as demonstrated by their leadership in regulatory compliance and safety. Both have been successful individually, with growth rates that exceed the market average. Milliken and Keystone operate globally, with facilities in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

DKSH’s Performance Materials Business Unit Extends Presence in Cambodia

DKSH Business Unit Performance Materials has expanded its geographic footprint to Cambodia, bringing its global country presence count to 31 countries.

DKSH has an established customer base for performance materials in Cambodia, which was formerly managed from DKSH Vietnam. DKSH offers a portfolio of chemicals and ingredients for the specialty chemicals, food and beverage and personal care industries.

DKSH customers in Cambodia can now benefit from a dedicated on-the-ground support team to provide sales and marketing, distribution and logistics and after-sales services. DKSH clients benefit from the expansion with a growing customer base who will now gain access to product portfolios for which DKSH provides business development while ensuring compliance with local regulations.

DKSH Cambodia was established in 1952 when DKSH began business activities in Phnom Penh. DKSH re-entered Cambodia 43 years later in 1995 after the government’s “open door” policy was implemented following the 1993 general elections. Today, the company is one of Cambodia’s leading business organizations, employing more than 1,400 specialized staff.

DKSH covers the country with its unique capillary distribution network, reaching the most remote parts of the country. DKSH’s Business Units Consumer Goods, Healthcare and Technology are already present in Cambodia and Business Unit Performance Materials will be housed inside DKSH’s existing premises in Phnom Penh.

Mathias Greger, Vice President, Performance Materials, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia & Laos, DKSH, commented: “We are very pleased to expand our presence to Cambodia and offer a wide range of exciting, innovative product portfolios to our established customer base. This strategic move will allow us to provide one-to-one support to our customers and create exciting business opportunities for our clients.”

1,000 Vessels Already Protected with AkzoNobel’s Sustainable Coatings

AkzoNobel’s ongoing efforts to make shipping more sustainable reached another landmark recently with the 1,000th application of Intersleek 1100SR, the biocide-free fouling control coating. The milestone was achieved with the Al Gattara LNG (liquefied natural gas) tanker operated by Nakilat Shipping Qatar Ltd.

Delivering outstanding macro and micro fouling control with improved static resistance, even in warm waters, the product enables vessels to reduce drag and achieve fuel efficiency and emissions savings of 9% on average.

Moreover, ship owners and operators that upgrade from a biocidal coating to a biocide-free solution from the Intersleek range are eligible to enroll in AkzoNobel’s award-winning carbon credits initiative, which financially rewards them for investing in sustainable technologies.

“The rapid adoption of Intersleek 1100SR shows that ship owners and operators are realizing the benefits of investing in sustainable hull coatings,” said Oscar Wezenbeek, Managing Director of AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings business. “The fuel savings delivered by Intersleek 1100SR – and the fact that it allows vessels to get up to speed even after long stationary periods – means it is not only a sustainable solution in terms of decarbonization, but also a solid financial investment. We’re delighted to see so much support for, a technology which is playing a leading role in our ongoing commitment to making shipping more sustainable.”

With around five vessels coated per week since its launch, Intersleek 1100SR’s uptake by LNG owners means the company’s Intersleek coatings are now used on 35% of the global LNG fleet.

Supplied by the AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings business as part of its International® range of products, Intersleek 1100SR was launched in February 2013 as the shipping industry’s first patented slime release biocide-free fouling control coating.

The 1,000th application of Intersleek 1100SR comes as the Intersleek range celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, having saved $3 billion of fuel and 32 million tons of CO2 to date.

Clariant Completes Color Range of "Super-transparent" Pigment Preparations

On April 18, 2017, Clariant unveiled Hostatint™ A 100-ST, a range of super-transparent preparations based on non-halogenated pigments to support the eye-catching metallic and mineral effects as well as new shades for surface and contour enhancements so desired for today's lifestyle products.

Launched at European Coatings Show 2017, the new Hostatint A 100-ST range features nine ready-to-use, highly-transparent pigment preparations that offer the entire color circle to solvent-based paint systems. Very fine pigment particles, excellent dispersion and long-term stabilization are the prerequisites to enhance effects with color intensity similar to dyes but with very high light and weather fastness, and no migration or bleeding.

In addition to its performance benefits, Hostatint A 100-ST helps the coatings industry to open up manufacturers' creativity options. For electronics OEMs, the halogen-free pigment molecules support the formulation of bright green color shades that meet industry restrictions on halogen content.

Industrial coatings with the super transparency of Hostatint A 100-ST can be used to add a quality appeal to applications by emphasizing the visibility of a substrate such as glass, wood or metal. Super transparent colored coatings, virtually invisible over a black substrate, are also particularly effective in highlighting black/color contrast.

Hostatint A 100-ST pigment preparations are easy and safe to use. They have low viscosity, are widely compatible with solvent-based paint systems, and a very high flashpoint results in safer storage, transportation and handling. The stability of the colorants contributes to a long shelf life.

Bernhard Stengel-Rutkowski, Senior Global Technical Marketing Manager at Clariant, commented, "From cellphones to bikes and cars, metallic and mineral effect shades are becoming increasingly important for industrial applications. There's also growing interest in using high transparency to enhance glass or wood surface properties. As a full range of pigment preparations, new Hostatint A 100-ST enables the fast and flexible formulation of a wide range of color shades for transparent applications. In addition, they are providing a cost-efficient way for manufacturers to address new coating trends in the market segments."

PPG Issues Updated Statement

On April 12, 2017, PPG issued the following updated statement in connection with its proposal to AkzoNobel to form a combined company:

“Since PPG's proposal to combine with AkzoNobel became public, PPG has communicated with, on multiple occasions, more than 100 equity investors, mostly AkzoNobel shareholders including representatives from Elliott Advisors. Near unanimous feedback from those many meetings is AkzoNobel’s equity shareholders are disappointed by AkzoNobel’s refusal to engage with PPG and their lack of focus on shareholder concerns and value. We certainly understand and appreciate shareholders’ growing disappointment that AkzoNobel leadership has not yet met with us to discuss our compelling offer to combine the two companies for the benefit of all stakeholders.

“There was no communication regarding PPG’s private proposal to AkzoNobel with any shareholders prior to AkzoNobel publicly rejecting PPG’s initial proposal on March 9, 2017. Additionally, there were no communications regarding our revised proposal with any shareholders prior to AkzoNobel’s second public rejection on March 22, 2017. There has not been any, and there are currently no agreements or arrangements, in whatever form, between PPG and Elliott Advisors. As a matter of clarification, PPG does not own and has not traded in AkzoNobel stock. PPG continues to act independently and will continue to do so.

“PPG has always maintained its strict and long-standing policy of not sharing any material, non-public information and has acted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including those of the Netherlands, with respect to communications with any shareholders.

“It would be preferable from PPG’s perspective if AkzoNobel would speak with us rather than about us. We continue to invite AkzoNobel to meet with us and strongly believe it's in the best interest of their stakeholders.”

US EPA Recognizes Eastman with 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award

For the sixth consecutive year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Eastman with an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award for continued leadership and superior energy efficiency achievements. This year marks Eastman’s fourth consecutive ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award, EPA’s highest ENERGY STAR honor. The award reaffirms Eastman’s commitment to managing natural resources, which continues to drive sustainable and impactful improvements in energy performance, resulting in energy intensity reductions, avoided costs and lowered emissions.

Eastman became the only chemical company to receive the Sustained Excellence recognition beginning in 2014. Additionally, the EPA named Eastman an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2012 and 2013. “To be recognized by the EPA six years in a row for Eastman’s commitment to energy management is a tremendous honor,” said Mark J. Costa, Eastman’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. “Eastman has been on a transformative journey to become a specialty materials company over the last several years. I’m incredibly proud of the Eastman team and their continued focus on environmental stewardship as the company portfolio evolves. To be the only chemical company to ever receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award is a reflection of the hard work by many people around the world every day.”

“At Eastman, we believe a truly sustainable company is one that creates significantly more value than the resources it uses,” said David A. Golden, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer, and Corporate Secretary. “We’re mindful that we manage natural resource-intensive operations, which is why we’re committed to implementing innovative ways to reduce our environmental impact. Our global natural resource management team continues to lead the charge and engage our employees and stakeholders globally to make a positive difference. I could not be more proud of the successes our employees are driving across the company and around the world.”

An ENERGY STAR partner since 2008, Eastman’s award-winning energy management program includes the following highlights from 2016: Reducing energy intensity by more than three percent over 2015, Formulating successful energy management strategies to control inefficiencies as the business shifted to the manufacture of specialty chemicals, which tend to be more energy intensive, Initiating more than 100 energy savings projects with a focus on optimizing steam and electrical systems, Participating in ENERGY STAR’s Challenge for Industry by achieving a 10 percent reduction in energy intensity in less than five years at two Eastman sites, Supporting ENERGY STAR industrial partners and engaging the community about energy efficiency and opportunities for savings.

The 2017 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are bestowed upon a diverse set of organizations that have demonstrated continued leadership in energy efficiency, representing energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors. Eastman’s accomplishments will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on April 26, 2017.

ACTEGA North America Introduces MotionCoat™

ACTEGA North America announced the addition of MotionCoat™ to its specialty coatings portfolio. MotionCoat™ is a patent pending UV coating system that when used in conjunction with vector based artwork creates an amazing motion-like image. This technology is capable of being used in both flexographic and lithographic applications and is commercially available as of April 2016.

“We are very proud to introduce this truly innovative UV coating system to the market, allowing our company to serve current and future customers in all areas of special effect enhancement needs,” said Dennis Drummond, Head of Brand Owner Management at ACTEGA North America. “MotionCoat™ will provide converters, designers, and brand owners the opportunity to implement a variety of eye-popping design elements into printing and packaging without the investment of specialized software or capital nvestments.”

MotionCoat™ has the following features and benefits. It can be printed in-line at normal press speeds. It is 100% recyclable compared to other “motion-type” systems. It has the ability to be used on both flexographic and lithographic print applications and unique self-registration characteristics to create high-motion graphics. It also displays excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates, according to ACTEGA.

PPG Acquires Minority Stake in Taiwan Chlorine Industries

On April 11, 2017, PPG announced that it has acquired a 40 percent ownership interest in Taiwan Chlorine Industries Ltd. (TCI) from China Petrochemical Development Corporation (CPDC).

TCI was established in 1986 as a joint venture between PPG and CPDC to produce chlorine-based products in Taiwan, at which time PPG owned 60 percent of the venture. In conjunction with the 2013 separation of its commodity chemicals business, PPG transferred its ownership interest in TCI to Axiall Corporation. Axiall was subsequently acquired by Westlake Chemical Corporation in 2016.

In connection with the sale of PPG’s original 60 percent ownership interest in TCI to Axiall, CPDC was granted an option to sell its 40 percent ownership interest in TCI to Axiall for $100 million following the three-year anniversary of PPG’s commodity chemical business separation. Axiall was concurrently granted the right to name PPG as its designee to purchase CPDC’s 40 percent ownership interest. In April 2016, CPDC elected to sell its 40 percent TCI ownership interest to Axiall, and in June, Axiall designated PPG to purchase this ownership interest.

PPG funded the acquisition, which represents a minority interest related to one of PPG’s legacy businesses, using cash on hand.

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