AkzoNobel has agreed to buy BASF’s industrial coatings business for 475-million euros (US$531-million) to strengthen its position in coil coatings. “This proposed acquisition will strengthen our position in the important coil coatings market,” AkzoNobel CEO Ton Buchner said in a statement, referring to the coatings for coiled metal sheets that are processed into facades, refrigerators, window blinds and a wide range of industrial products. His company is already a major supplier in this market. BASF’s industrial coatings business, which had sales of 300-million euros in 2015, reportedly lacked the scale necessary to serve today’s global market. As the world’s latrgest chemicals maker by sales, BASF had already said it would look into selling businesses that were under pressure from low-cost rivals. AkzoNobel had publicly stated it was open to smaller bolt-on acquisitions. The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of this year. It will result in two manufacturing plants, one in the UK and one in South Africa, transferring to AkzoNobel. Industrial coatings account for only a small part of BASF’s 3-billion euro coatings division. About 77 percent of the division’s sales come from the automotive coatings business, which BASF is keeping. www.akzonobel.com