Iconic Aussie paint brand changes hands

Speculation that an iconic 106-year-old paint brand could return to Aussie hands has been dashed.

Speculation that iconic paint brand Wattyl could return to Australian hands has been dashed, with a Danish company agreeing to buy it.

US-headquartered Sherwin-Williams Company bought the 106-year-old brand in 2017 through its acquisition of The Valspar Corporation.

There was talk last year Wattyl could once again be Australian owned after the world’s largest paint and coatings group announced a portfolio review.

But Sherwin-Williams has struck a deal with Denmark’s Hempel, which like Wattyl was founded in 1915.

“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,” Sherwin-Williams boss John G. Morikis said.

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

Hempel Group president and chief executive Lars Petersson said the new owners would take Wattyl “to the next level”.

“We are now taking the first large, visible step in our ambition of doubling Hempel by 2025, and the acquisition will have a major, positive impact on our footprint and development in our South and East Asia region,” he said.

The transaction is now pending customary approval from the authorities, which is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

Hempel was sought for comment on what the deal meant to Wattyl’s 750 employees.

Headquartered in Baulkham Hills, Sydney, Wattyl has factories in Kilburn, South Australia and Footscray, Victoria, four distribution centres in Australia and one in New Zealand and nearly 100 company-owned stores.

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