WILMINGTON, Delaware - DuPont Automotive Systems' acquisition of Herberts Group from Hoeschst AG for $3.5 billion creates the world's largest automotive coatings supplier with combined sales of $3.7 billion.
DuPont leads this sector in both North and South America, while Herberts is the top automotive coatings supplier in Europe.
The combination of the two will lead to faster development of new technologies and markets in developing regions, said Louis Savelli, president of DuPont Automotive.
Each company has developed new technology in environmentally acceptable products such as low-emission waterborne and powder coatings, as well as products that contain no hazardous air pollutants for both the original equipment manufacturer and refinish industries.
'The fit between Herberts and DuPont's automotive coatings business is exceptional,' Savelli said.
'The merger of complementary assets, technology and regional market strengths will create a much stronger business that can grow profitably and better serve customer needs on a global basis.'
DuPont has nine manufacturing facilities. Six are in North America, and three are in Europe. There are joint ventures in South America and Asia.
Herberts has manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America and South America and a number of minority joint ventures in Asia/Pacific.
Herberts' powder coating expertise could be a key to future business development, providing DuPont with the technology just as automakers around the world are beginning to embrace it.
BMW AG has started using powder coating supplied by Herberts for the clear-coat paint layer on some German-made vehicles.
Powder coating sales are growing at around 10 percent a year worldwide.
'We think the trend will continue and even intensify as we go forward,' Savelli said.
'Herberts' position in powder coating is very strong around the world, and it will give us a new opportunity to capitalize on this growth.'