Dutch chemicals giant Akzo Nobel, which has been in talks with UK-owned paint, packaging and fibres business Courtaulds, is expected to make a £1.8bn bid for the company after the Easter break.
The Dutch company is believed to be attracted by Courtaulds’ market-leading position in marine and aerospace paints, and its powder coatings business. The division had sales of almost £1bn last year, nearly half the group’s total.
Courtaulds, which employs 17,000 staff across 45 countries, has UK plants in Derby, Coventry, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Grimsby and London.
The firm had planned to split into three parts, under moves announced by chairman Sir David Lees in February. These would involve Courtaulds demerging its paints business from its fibres operations, putting the coatings and sealants business into a separate unit, and selling off its polymer products division. About 500 UK job losses were also announced.
Akzo Nobel said this week it would merge the fibres business with its own and either demerge or sell it off.