AkzoNobel and Axalta Coating Systems


AkzoNobel is a Dutch company specialized in paints, coating and chemicals. Its origins come from the fusions of several Dutch and Scandinavian throughout the years for two centuries. The two major companies involved in the merges were Akzo, and Nobel, founded by Alfred Nobel. It is now headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

It has around fifty thousand employees around the world,and generated approximately $9.5bn of turnover during the year 2016.

It is now the third company in its field of production, but it faced several difficulties these last years. PPG, another leading company in the field of paints, tried three times to acquire AkzoNobel, but failed every time. This caused a revolt of one of AkzoNobel shareholders, Elliot, which engaged judicial proceedings against the company. They are now applying a truce after months of conflict.

It is now traded in the Euronext 100 markets.


Axalta Coating Systems is an American company also specialized in paints and coating. Its origins can be traced to Germany in the late 19th century. It was also part of the DuPont industries for years before being purchased by The Carlyle Group in 2013. Then, it became independent as Axalta Coating Systems in 2014.

It employs around thirteen thousand people and generated $3.5bn of turnover in 2016.

It is traded in the NYSE since 2014.


After the official announcement of the discussions about a merge, the markets reacted timidly. At 11:35 GMT on October 30th, AkzoNobel shares were up of 0.42% at 77.90 Euros, while Axalta shares went up after a time of fall.

Indeed, on October 30th, AkzoNobel confirmed that it is on talk on a “merger of equals” with their American competitor Axalta, worth $30bn.

A fusion between these two companies would create a monster (AkzoNobel is the 3rd in his field, and Axalta the 4th), far beyond all the other competitors of the two companies, like PPG or Sherwin-Williams.

Jos Versteeg, a Dutch analyst at InsingerGilissen, says that Axalta is in a dominant position, and that AkzoNobel will have difficulties to merge with it.