Fluoropolymer coatings manufacturer Whitford Corp. has reached an agreement to buy the nonstick coatings division of Amsterdam, Netherlands-based AkzoNobel BV, with an anticipated closing date of March 31.
The purchase of AkzoNobel Non-Stick Coatings LLC will give Elverson, Pa.-based Whitford a manufacturing presence in India as well a foot in several new markets, including high-temperature muffler coatings and coatings for copiers and other reprographic equipment.
``We gain market share and better machinery utilization'' as well as access to new technology, said David Willis Jr., president of privately held Whitford, in a Jan. 27 phone interview. ``By combining two smaller companies into a larger one, it makes us a stronger force around the world.'' Each company had strengths in different geographic markets.
Willis also said the acquisition should give Whitford more leverage in buying one of its basic raw materials, polytetrafluoroethylene, because of greater volume needs.
``We are looking forward to being a bigger buyer of raw materials,'' he said.
Leif Darner, the AkzoNobel management board member responsible for performance coatings, said the $14 billion parent firm was divesting its nonstick coatings operation after 20 years because it did not have the scale necessary to become a global market leader.
ANNS employs 140 and makes coatings at AkzoNobel facilities in India, Italy, Brazil and China. Whitford will continue to use the India plant, but the coatings operations at the latter three sites which also make other AkzoNobel products will shift to Whitford plants in Italy, Brazil, China, Singapore and its headquarters plant in Elverson, Willis said.
He said the manufacturing transition will take three to five months, once the deal is final.
Terms were not disclosed, but Willis said ANNS with sales of $30 million to $35 million will boost Whitford's sales by roughly 25 percent if the firms retain all current customers.
The companies have similar, but complementary, products, he said. Whitford will not change ANNS' product mix and continue to use its formulations.
Whitford makes nonstick coatings for consumer applications like frying pans, coffee-plate warmers, waffle makers, cookware and bakeware; as well as coatings for the textile, auto, chemical processing and petrochemical industries. It has concentrated on multicoats, while ANNS has focused on volume-oriented silicone polyester products.