AkzoNobel divesting German paint stores to sharpen distribution focus

Marketwired

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwired - Jun 26, 2013) - AkzoNobel today announced itsintention to divest its decorative paints storesfor professionals in Germany to independent wholesale distributors.

The move is intended to strengthen the performance of the company's GermanDecorative Paints business by focusing its activities on the distributionandmarketing of paint under brands such as Sikkens, Herbol and Consolan.

"We are changing the marketing strategy of our German Decorative Paintsbusinessto focus on our key organizational strengths of marketing and distributingourstrong paint brands," said Ruud Joosten, the company's Executive Committeemember responsible for Decorative Paints. "This is part of our ongoingeffortsto strengthen both our organizational efficiency and our profitability inGermany."

The company currently operates 72 German stores selling professional paintandthird party products, with the Decorative Paints organization employingaround950 people in Germany. In total, AkzoNobel's Decorative Paints, PerformanceCoatings and Specialty Chemicals businesses have 3,900 employees inGermany,along with 17 manufacturing plants and eight offices, generating revenue ofclose to EUR1.3 billion in the country in 2012.

The new set-up will allow AkzoNobel to select the most efficientdistributionchannels for its professional paint products, rather than operating its ownstores. The company intends to enter into strategic partnership agreementswiththe future shop owners, as well as strengthening its relationship with itsexisting network of independent distributors.

Commenting on the company's plans, Werner Fuhrmann, the Executive Committeemember responsible for Specialty Chemicals and Germany, said: "Germany hasalways been, and will remain, an important market for AkzoNobel. Thecompany iscontinuing to invest in Germany, evidenced by recent acquisitions includingSchramm (2011), Lindgens Metal Decorating Coatings (2010), Dow Chemicals'Rohm &Haas business (2010) and LII Europe (2009). A total of EUR140 million isalsobeing invested in new technology at a chemicals plant in Frankfurt, whichisexpected to go on stream in the first quarter of 2014."

AkzoNobel will also be reviewing its office footprint in Germany. ContinuedFuhrmann: "These improvements are intended to reduce complexity and furtherimprove the operational efficiency of our German activities. They willboost ourcompetitiveness and help us to greater success for our businesses inGermanygoing forward."

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AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a majorproducerof specialty chemicals. We supply industries and consumers worldwide withinnovative products and are passionate about developing sustainable answersforour customers. Our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux,Sikkens,International and Eka. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we areconsistently ranked as one of the leaders in the area of sustainability.Withoperations in more than 80 countries, our 50,000 people around the worldarecommitted to excellence and delivering Tomorrow's Answers Today™.

Pdf file AkzoNobel press release:

http://hugin.info/130660/R/1711985/568084.pdf

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Source: Akzo Nobel NV via Thomson Reuters ONE

[HUG#1711985]

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