Axalta Coating Systems ends merger talks with Japan's Nippon Paint Holdings

Axalta Coating Systems has ended merger talks with Japan's Nippon Paint Holdings Co Ltd, the US-based coating company yesterday said in a statement.

Charles Shaver, chairman and CEO, Axalta  

Axalta, a 2013 spin off from DuPont Co, said that its previously announced discussions regarding it being acquired by Nippon Paint have ended.

''Nippon Paint informed Axalta that its Board of Directors was unwilling to meet our expectations regarding the value of the company and assume the financial leverage necessary for a deal of this size,'' Axalta said in the statement.

''Axalta is a premier company in the coatings industry and has recently been sought after by two global competitors,'' said Charles Shaver, Axalta's chairman and CEO.

Axalta recently ended merger talks with Netherlands-based AkzoNobel, which had seeking to buy Axalta so it would become too big to be acquired by any one of its local rival, Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries and Fortune 500 Sherwin Williams. (See: Akzo Nobel confirms merger talks with Axalta Coating of US)

AkzoNobel backed out of talks with Axalta Coatings Systems when Nippon Paint Holdings emerged as a suitor for Axalta.

''While neither deal came to fruition, the keen interest by these companies underscores Axalta's global leadership position. Our current and future operational plans have not wavered during these discussions. We are well positioned to continue as a standalone growth company and will remain disciplined in generating superior long-term value for our shareholders,'' Shaver added.

Media reports had earlier said that Nippon Paint had offered to pay Axalta $37 per share or $9.1 billion, but Axalta was looking at a higher offer.

Axalta shares were trading in New York at $37.25 before they were halted yesterday afternoon ahead of Axalta's announcement, but fell by 17 per cent to $31.19 after Axalta announced ending merger talks with Nippon.

Wilmington, Delaware-based Axalta Coating, backed by Warren Buffet, is the world's leading manufacturer and supplier of coating systems primarily for the transportation industry covering automobile, aviation and marine sectors.

The 92 year-old company has four production segments, refinish, OEM, industrial liquid and powder, are considered to be one of the highest quality paint providers for the auto industry.

The company has manufacturing facilities in six continents, serving more than 120,000 customers in 130 countries.