Dutch paint maker buys Kansai East Africa unit

Arvind Shekhawat, Chief Executive Officer of Kansai Plascon East Africa

What you need to know:

Akzo Nobel N.V stylized as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational company which creates paints and performance coatings for both industry and consumers worldwide

Dutch paint maker AkzoNobel has bought Japan’s Kansai Paint business in Uganda and the rest of East Africa.

The move will strengthen AkzoNobel’s footprint, in which it will take over Kansai Plascon’s assets and operations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Burundi.

It also ends years of trade wars pitting the two rivals for the East African market. Details of the transaction, which are subject to local regulatory approvals, were not disclosed.

“Acquiring Kansai Paint’s activities in the region will help us to further expand our paints and coatings business in Africa and provide a strong platform for future growth,” said AkzoNobel chairman and chief executive officer Thierry Vanlancker, noting that the acquisition will result in a wider range of innovative products and more sustainable solutions for the paint industry.

Kansai is present in 12 African countries. It has a consolidated revenue of about Shs1.02 trillion and 2,500 employees across 19 manufacturing sites and 30 warehouses in East Africa.

Kansai Plascon has the largest market share in Uganda and as the leader across East Africa is well positioned to take the step up to the next level.  

The paint business in Uganda has been marked by years of trade wars. 

AkzoNobel has in the past two years acquired Titan Paints in Spain and Portugal, New Nautical Coatings in the US and Grupo Orbis in Latin America.

Kansai, about five years ago entered Uganda in a deal that kicked up a storm with Sadolin, a brand owned by AkzoNobel .  Sadolin has since maintained operations in Uganda even as Kansai went on to dominate the market. 

Mr Kunishi Mori, the Kansai Paint Global president, said the sale, which will be completed in the course of 2023, gives AkzoNobel an opportunity to unlock the full potential of the business.

AkzoNobel has a history that goes back to 1646 and is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam. It is active in more than 150 countries with about 33,000 employees globally.

Elevating the business      

According to Mr Arvind Shekhawat, the Kansai Plascon East Africa chief executive officer, since entering into region, the company has grown and weathered uncertainty including volatility during Covid-19 and it was now time for AkzoNobel to elevate the businesses to the next level through investing in environment, social, and governance to innovate and develop the workforce.


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