Hempel A/S has signed an agreement to acquire 65 percent of one of Germany’s leading manufacturers of decorative paint, J.W. Ostendorf. The investment in JWO, the purchaser says, is a significant reinforcement in Hempel’s third strategic business area, the decorative paints business. “Our decorative business is relatively new and has therefore naturally been a bit overshadowed by the company’s two other strategic business areas, Marine and Protective. This is now over,” Hempel Group president & CEO Henrik Andersen said. “With the investment in JWO, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of decorative paint, we have grown our decorative business significantly and sent a signal that we are ready to do more – in Europe and globally.” JWO has approximately 750 employees and has facilities in Coesfeld, North Rhine, Westphalia, Germany, and in Cestas, France. JWO ‘s output is primarily water-based, but the company also makes solvent-based products. Andersen added, “I have great expectations of JWO and I have great expectations about JWO joining forces with another leading European decorative company, UK-based Crown Paints – also part of the Hempel Group. In close collaboration, both companies will develop and grow the Hempel family’s decorative business in Europe.” JWO is a family-owned company. The former CEO and majority shareholder Michael Ostendorf and his sons Jan and Jens Ostendorf will continue to be involved in the business as shareholders. JWO will be managed on a daily basis by Jan and Jens Ostendorf, who will be responsible for the North and South European markets respectively. “I particularly look forward to the close collaboration we are forming with Crown Paints. By joining forces, we create a strong platform for continued expansion in the European decorative market,” Michael Ostendorf said. Hempel’s investment in JWO is one of many made during recent years. Besides Crown Paints, Hempel has acquired and integrated companies such as Schaepman (The Netherlands) and Jones Blair (US). www.hempel.com