Posted on the 07-22-2019
Axalta Coating Systems Ltd., the car-paint maker exploring a sale, has drawn preliminary interest from rival companies, according to people familiar with the matter.
Kansai Paint Co. Ltd. and PPG Industries Inc. are among firms considering making offers, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The Philadelphia-based company is in the early stages of soliciting offers from several parties with the aim of reaching a deal in the fall, one of the people said.
Akzo Nobel NV said "at this time" it is "not participating in the process" after Bloomberg News reported that it was among parties that had shown preliminary interest, citing people familiar. "We carefully consider strategic opportunities as they arise and feel under no pressure to do anything different because our peer company has announced a strategic review," Akzo said in an emailed statement on Thursday.
Axalta, which is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., rose 0.5% at 2:45 p.m. in New York after rising as much as 6.4%. Its stock has risen about 18% since announcing June 19 that it would review strategic alternatives, including a sale, giving it a market value of about $7.1 billion.
Private equity firms are also looking, though interest has been lukewarm so far, the people said. Axalta hasn’t made a final decision on selling all or part of the company and bidders could end up opting against formal offers, they said.
Representatives for Axalta and PPG Industries declined to comment. A representative for Kansai Paint didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment left outside of regular business hours.
Axalta, led by President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Bryant, has been a takeover target for years. Activist investor Jana Partners took a stake and had been pushing the company to explore alternatives before it announced the review, people familiar with the matter said in June.
The company, which makes coatings for vehicles or pipelines, held takeover talks in 2017 with Nippon Paint Holdings Co.
Axalta went public in 2014, a year after private equity firm Carlyle Group LP acquired the company from DuPont.
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