FTC Approves Final Order with Sherwin-Williams and Valspar, Preserving Competition in the North American Market for Industrial Wood Coatings

Order requires Sherwin-Williams to sell Valspar’s industrial wood coatings business to Axalta Coating Systems Ltd.

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order resolving concerns that the acquisition of the Valspar Corporation by The Sherwin-Williams Company would likely allow the new company to exercise unilateral market power in the North American market for industrial wood coatings. These coatings are used to manufacture wood items such as furniture, kitchen cabinets and other building products.

As announced in May 2017, the order requires Sherwin-Williams to divest two Valspar industrial wood coatings plants – one in High Point, North Carolina and the other in Cornwall, Ontario – to Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. Axalta will also acquire certain Valspar research and development facilities, warehouses and testing facilities, as well as customer contracts, intellectual property, inventory, accounts receivable, government licenses and permits and business records.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 2-0. (FTC File No. 161 0116; the staff contact is James Abell, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2289.)

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