M&A: Axalta scores sixth acquisition this year

In its sixth acquisition so far this year, Axalta Coating Systems, the Philadelphia industrial coatings company spun off from DuPont Co. in 2013, says it has agreed to buy Plascoat Systems Ltd., which makes thermoplastic coatings, from its British owner, International Process Technologies Ltd., for an undisclosed sum.

The deal includes Plascoat plants in Farnham, England and at Zuidland in the Netherlands, plus Plastcoat products such as Talisman, which covers dishwasher baskets; PPA 571 Aqua, a coating for waterpipes; and PPA 571, used outdoors; among others. Michael Cash, Axalta’s president for industrial coatings, called Plascoat, which was founded in 1952, a pioneer in its industry.

Other recent acquisitions by Axalta include the France and China plants of wire enamel maker IVA, from Superior Essex, last month; of Spencer Coatings Group in May; of Valspar Corp.’s industrial wood coatings business in April; of Century Industrial Coatings in February; and of Ellis Paint Co. in January.

In each case except the Valspar business, which Axalta acquired for $420 million as part of a deal designed to satisfy merger regulators, the price was not disclosed, implying the companies are small relative to Axalta.

Amid industry consolidation, Axalta, under chief executive Charles W. Shaver, has spurned takeover interest from would-be acquirers including European paint and materials giant AkzoNobel.

The company’s sales are expected to top $4 billion this year, with after-tax profits exceeding $300 million for the first time. The company’s debt, which totaled around $3 billion at June 30, has dropped each year since 2013.