Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Dulux to be bought by Nippon Paint for Dh9.9bn

Offer by Japan’s largest paint maker to pay A$9.80 for each Dulux share represents a 28 per cent premium

Japanese firm to purchase Australian rival in one of biggest recent deals. Getty
Japanese firm to purchase Australian rival in one of biggest recent deals. Getty

Nippon Paint agreed to buy Australia’s DuluxGroup for A$3.8 billion (Dh9.91bn) in cash, giving it access to the country’s biggest sales channel for paints and coatings, as well as sealants, adhesives, garage doors, cabinets and architectural hardware.

The offer by Japan’s largest paint maker to pay A$9.80 for each Dulux share represents a 28 per cent premium, the companies said on Wednesday. In terms of large deals, that compares with Sherwin-Williams’ offer in 2014 to buy rival Valspar for about $9.3bn at a 35 per cent premium.

It’s the biggest acquisition yet by Nippon Paint, which has said it’s looking to buy global rivals to keep pace with consolidation in a $140bn global industry where the top 10 suppliers account for more than half of sales worldwide. The Osaka-based company made a bid in 2017 for Axalta Coating Systems, the world’s largest maker of coatings for cars, although the offer failed to produce a deal. Axalta had a market value of about $8bn at the time.

“This is a logical acquisition, given the strength of the Dulux brand name in the Australian and New Zealand markets, the attractive stable growth potential of the region, and the opportunity the acquisition affords to bolster Nippon Paint’s regional portfolio,” Atsushi Ikeda, an analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Japan, wrote in a note to clients.

Although Dulux is Australia and New Zealand’s top paint and coatings company, it ranks at 22nd in the world, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dulux shares shot up to close near the offer price in Sydney trading, while Nippon paint fell 3.6 per cent in Tokyo.

Dulux will retain its name and leadership team that will operate as a division within Nippon Paint as the Japanese company adds Australia and New Zealand to operations in Asia, Europe and the US, the companies said.

Dulux had sales of A$1.84bn in the year ended September 30. Nippon Paint’s offer values the company at about 2 times revenue, compared with the 2.43 times median for global paint and coatings maker deals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nippon Paint has an A credit rating from Rating and Investment and Information, which said Wednesday it is monitoring the company for possible downgrade.

“Its financial base will deteriorate more than R&I anticipated,” the ratings agency said. “Even if a light capital investment burden, which is characteristic of a paint manufacturing business, is taken into account, it will highly likely take time before the company improves its financial balance.”

Nippon Paint had cash and equivalents of about ¥164bn (Dh5.37bn) as of December 31, and net cash of about ¥97.3 million.

The deal is on track to be completed in August, the companies said. Dulux is being advised by Macquarie Capital Australia, while Nomura worked with Nippon Paint.

Dulux shares have more than tripled since the maker of its namesake paints was spun off from industrial chemicals and explosives company Orica in 2010.

Updated: April 17, 2019 01:23 PM

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