Sherwin-Williams Acquires Becker Acroma, Swedish Wood-Coatings Maker

Sherwin-Williams (SHW), the biggest paint maker in the U.S., is aiming to brush on more business to its growing Global Finishes Group, announcing Monday the acquisition of Sweden's Becker Acroma Industrial Wood Coatings.

This marks the third acquisition in the past two years for Sherwin's Global Finishes Group, which performed strongly in the first quarter amid weakness in other parts of Sherwin's businesses. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With this acquisition, which is expected to close in the third quarter, Sherwin plans to bolster its presence in the furniture, flooring, kitchen cabinet and joinery industries -- all markets that have been hurt by the recession. But as the economy pulls out of the doldrums, Sherwin hopes to have all its ducks in a row.

A Bigger Global Footprint

"This is another positive step in our strategy of steady growth and expansion through quality products and people who provide excellent customer service. This acquisition reaffirms our commitment to growing globally through organic expansion, accelerated by appropriate acquisitions," says Christopher M. Connor, Sherwin CEO, in a statement.

Sherwin currently operates 15 manufacturing plants and 79 facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and China for its liquid and powder finishes. Becker Acroma brings to the table a wider global footprint, particularly in Asia, with its nine manufacturing plants and 32 other facilities.

Becker, which has 900 employees, is also among the world's largest makers of wood coatings, with $300 million in U.S. sales.

Additional revenue is a good thing for Sherwin, which posted a slight 1% first-quarter increase to $1.57 billion over last year. Sherwin's network of retail stores saw sales fall 5.3% in the quarter, but its Global Finishes Group posted a 16.2% increase as a result of not only favorable currency rates but also higher paint sales.

The company's stock has steadily climbed from $58 a share in late January to $75.72 a share at the close on Friday. And the upward trend has indeed caught the eye of market watchers.

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