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Nippon Paint Allows Wuthelam Board Majority

Friday, March 9, 2018

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Nippon Paint Holdings Co. Ltd. recently announced the decision to make Singapore-based coatings group Wuthelam a majority on its board, allowing the company to essentially be in control of Nippon Paint.

According to The Japan Times, five executives from Wuthelam, owner of 38.9 percent of Nippon Paint, will appoint five executives to the company’s board, with the one present executive, Goh Hup Jin, promoted to chairman.

Shareholder Proposal

Under Wuthelam’s original proposal in January, Nippon Paint would expand its board from seven to 10 seats, leaving the coatings group the right to name six independent directors. Nominees would include former Jasdaq Securities Exchange President Takashi Tsutsui and Yaskawa Information Systems President Toshio Morohoshi, reported Nikkei Asian Review.

The change in management must be approved by shareholders at a meeting set to occur later this month.

Nippon Paint HQ
tokumeigakarinoaoshima, CC-Zero, via Wikimedia Commons

Nippon Paint Holdings Co. Ltd. recently announced that it has decided to make to Singapore-based coatings group Wuthelam a majority on its board, allowing the company to essentially be in control of Nippon Paint.

In a news conference in Osaka, Goh denied that the company was looking to take over Nippon Paints, saying he simply thought it best that “the board’s governance be brought up to global standards.”

“I hope to instill in the new board a sense of responsibility to maximize shareholder value,” he said.

In 2013, Wuthelam tried to take a larger stake in Nippon Paint, but was met with resistance. This later turned into a compromise where the company turned eight joint ventures into subsidiaries in exchange for Wuthelam’s increased stake.

Axalta/Nippon Talks

Axalta Coating Systems (Philadelphia) announced Nov. 30, 2017, that talks with Nippon Paint Holdings Co. Ltd. had ended with no agreement.

For Nippon, the attempt to acquire Axalta was part of a move to expand into sales for automotive manufacturers, as well as increase its U.S. footprint.

In its talks with Axalta, Nippon made an all-cash bid that totaled $9.1 billion. The failed talks came on the heels of AkzoNobel’s recent bid to acquire the company, which also fell through.

According to Axalta, Nippon Paint’s Board of Directors was unwilling to meet Axalta’s expectations in regard to company value.


Tagged categories: AS; Asia Pacific; Business matters; Business operations; Finance; Good Technical Practice; Nippon Paint

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