Making paint news this week is the acquisition of the iconic Australian and world-renowned paint brand, Wattyl. Recently, our PaintAccess newsletter reported the exciting new partnership between Australian brands Tint Paint and Go Industrial. Today we discuss the acquisition of Wattyl by Danish company Hempel.

In 2017, Wattyl was bought by American company Sherwin Williams. In the last couple of years, there was talk that Wattyl could once again be Australian owned after the announcement of a portfolio review. However, these hopes have been dashed by its recent acquisition by the Danish group Hempel. Despite this change, Wattyl’s current presence in Australia will remain unaffected. It is headquartered in Baulkham Hills, and has factories in South Australia and Victoria, as well as four distribution centres across the country and nearly 100 company-owned stores. 

Who is Wattyl?

If you’re a trade painter, the likelihood is that you’ve heard of Wattyl. Like Dulux, it has become a household name for tradies and DIY homeowners alike and a dominator of the Australian market. In fact, although Dulux holds the top position as the largest Australian brand for architectural and decorative paints, Wattyl is close behind as the second largest brand in Australia.

Wattyl is an Australian and New Zealand manufacturer and has been providing protective paint and coatings to the Australian market for over 100 years, building an impressive portfolio of brands and an expertise along the way. Wattyl specialises in durable paints specifically formulated to withstand the tough Australian sun. They also offer a wide range of coatings to protect and enhance all projects. From UV to protection to rust protection, Wattyl has it all. Their in-house laboratories allow them to develop products to perform beyond industry standards. 

The history of Wattyl 

To understand how Wattyl came to be acquired by Sherwin Williams, it’s helpful to take a step back in time and look at the history of Wattyl. Wattyl’s humble beginnings in 1915 began when H.R Walters developed a treatment for reviving French-polished furniture. This pioneering product was an immediate success and came to be known as “Crystal veneer”. It also helped to establish the foundation of Wattyl’s future success. In 2010, Wattyl was acquired by US paint company The Valspar Corporation for a whopping $142 million. When The Valspar Corporation was acquired by Sherwin Williams in 2017, it became the parent company to Wattyl.

Who is Sherwin Williams?

Sherwin Williams is a big name, in fact it is the world’s largest paint and coatings company, headquartered in America.  Established in 1866, they have since become a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution, and sale of paint and coatings. One of their most notable recent innovations was the first American microcidal paint introduced in 2016. Currently, their products are sold exclusively through a chain of more than 4,900 company-operated stores and facilities. It seems that Sherwin Williams has been keeping busy as of late - just last week they announced plans to build a brand-new headquarters in Cleveland and a research and development facility in Brecksville. 

Who is Hempel?

Hempel A/S is a Denmark based global company which supplies coating products in the protective, marine, decorative, container and yacht industries. Just like Wattyl, it was founded in 1915. It was founded by Jorgen Christian Hempel - then the youngest licensed wholesaler in Denmark - and its current CEO is Lars Petersson. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, Hempel expanded around the globe, with its first US factory established in 1951. Besides Wattyl, Hempel currently holds multiple significant acquisitions from around the world, including Crown Paints, Jones Blair Company, and Blome International Inc. Hempel’s aim is to deliver coating solutions which add value to their customers’ businesses, and protect assets for longer, reduce maintenance costs, and increase efficiency.

The Hempel-Wattyl Acquisition

Following its acquisitions by Valspar and then, Sherwin Williams, Wattyl has a new owner once again! On the 18th of February, Sherwin-Williams announced that it has signed a purchase agreement with Hempel, an agreement that is expected to close within the first quarter of 2021. Although Hempel’s plans for Wattyl remain to be seen, they have announced plans to expand in Australia and New Zealand, as well as further into Southern and Eastern Asia. Hempel CEO Lars Petersson stated that they were aiming to double Hempel by 2025, with the acquisition of Wattyl being the first “large, visible step” to this goal. Clearly, Hempel has big ambitions for its future and the future of its latest acquisition. With a large turnover and 750 employees to its name, Wattyl might be just what Hempel needs to meet its goals. 

 Although it is unfortunate that Wattyl ownership will not be returning to Australian shores, here at PaintAccess we are definitely looking forward to what the future holds for Wattyl under its new owner. What are your thoughts about the Hempel-Wattyl acquisition? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below.