Nippon Paint eyes big acquisitions, including in Europe, US

Paint used to color zipper sliders sits on a table during production at the UCAN Zipper manufacturing facility in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg

Nippon Paint Holdings Co. is shopping for large acquisitions, including in Europe, to expand outside Japan amid a global consolidation among the biggest coatings makers.

“While our expansion is centered on China and other Asian countries in line with our mid-term plan, we also aim to expand through M&A in Europe and the United States,” Nippon Paint President Tetsushi Tadoh said, according to Yukiko Mochida, a spokeswoman for the company. Tadoh’s comments were published earlier Tuesday in the Nikkei newspaper.

Tadoh’s confirmation that the Osaka-based paint maker is looking to grow through acquisition comes about a month after its offer for Axalta Coating Systems Ltd., the world’s largest maker of coatings for cars, failed to produce a deal. Philadelphia-based Axalta, with a market value of about $8 billion, said on Dec. 15 it hopes to be a major player in the industry’s consolidation and is open to mergers and acquisitions.

Nippon Paint had about 77 billion yen ($679 million) in net cash as of Sept. 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Cash, equivalents and short-term investments stood at about 135 billion yen.

The company’s shares, which fell 13 percent last month, rose 0.1 percent to 3,650 yen as of the 11:30 a.m. break in Tokyo trading.

Talks on the Axalta acquisition ended without an agreement because Nippon Paint couldn’t clarify some terms of the deal by the deadline set by both companies, Tadoh said, according to Mochida. The U.S.-based coatings maker said at the time that Nippon Paint was unwilling to value Axalta highly enough.

Axalta Chief Executive Officer Charles Shaver had been unable to seal deals with two separate companies last month amid rising raw-materials costs that are pressuring paintmakers’ profit margins. Talks to combine with Amsterdam-based Akzo Nobel NV, the world’s third-largest coatings company, fell apart as Nippon Paint emerged as a suitor. Axalta’s biggest shareholder is billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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Axalta ends Nippon Paint talks after rejecting $9.1b bid

Bloomberg

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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