By NZHJ February 22, 2021 Industry news

Sherwin-Williams is selling its Australasian Wattyl business to Danish coatings specialist Hempel.

Danish coatings manufacturer Hempel A/S late last week announced it had signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of Wattyl from The Sherwin-Williams Company.

Currently a fully owned subsidiary of Valspar Corporation, through whose purchase in 2017 Wattyl became part of the Sherwin-Williams organisation, Wattyl's Australasian turnover is put at around NZ$250 million with the business spanning 750 employees in Australia and New Zealand across paint manufacturing and direct distribution.

For its part, Hempel has ambitious plans to double its revenue by 2025, and the Wattyl acquisition, says Hempel Group President & CEO Lars Petersson, (left) will have "a major, positive impact" on its business in the South & East Asia region.

The Wattyl business model is similar to Hempel-owned Crown Paints in the UK, with a portfolio of branded products including Wattyl, Solagard and Forestwood and nearly 100 company-owned stores across Australia and New Zealand, and strategic distribution partnerships servicing DIY and trade.

Post-purchase, Wattyl will still be managed by current Managing Director, Matt Crossingham, who is looking forward to joining the Hempel Group and is committed to the ongoing success of the region: “The entire team and I are pleased to join the Hempel family, and we are looking forward to contributing to Hempel’s growth and development – not only in Australia and New Zealand – but throughout the South & East Asia region.

"We will gain access to increased know-how, experience and innovation as well as a broader product portfolio, which will benefit our customers. With Hempel’s ownership, I am certain that Wattyl will raise to the next level.”

From a branding perspective, Hempel states up front that it sees the worth of the Wattyl brand, saying: "Hempel intends to invest in and further develop these attributes", with the additional endorsement "A part of Hempel" in branding and communication.

It was rumoured last year that a sale was on the cards and Sherwin-Williams now says this of the divestment: "Today's announcement of our intent to divest Wattyl aligns with our ongoing process to evaluate all aspects of our portfolio, including brands, product lines, customer programs and businesses, for their ability to meet our performance criteria and for their long-term strategic fit.

"While we've driven significant improvement in the Wattyl business, we believe Company resources can be better deployed to other opportunities offering greater growth, more meaningful scale, and higher returns and cash flow.

"We thank the employees of Wattyl for their contributions to Sherwin-Williams."   

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