Japanese paint firm spends Sh10b for control of Sadolin

Sadolin Paints. (Photo: Courtesy)

Japanese paint maker Kansai Plascon Africa has acquired local manufacturer Sadolin Paints for Sh10 billion.

The firm, a subsidiary of Kansai Paint Company, will now run Sadolin’s operations in Kenya and Uganda.

“We are thrilled at this acquisition. Through it, we will be able to tap into Kansai’s strong brand heritage, global technical capability, and trusted performance, providing us with new capabilities, access to technology and a know-how, which is key in continuing to drive growth for this brand,” said Kansai Plascon Managing Director Jamil Virjee in a statement.

He said the acquisition will not result in any management changes or other positions at Sadolin, adding that the company will continue to operate as optimally as it has been with the current employee base.

Mr Virjee said the acquisition will lead to better and more efficient output by the paint company, as it will benefit from new and improved technologies from Kansai, which is among the top paint firms in the world.

Sadolin’s biggest competitor is Crown Paints, which controls 65 per cent of the Kenyan paint market.

The company will strive to cut Crown’s dominance while gearing for a bigger chunk of the 35 per cent market share that it controls with the three other smaller players - Basco, Solai, and Nasib.

Its products include the Sadolin Classic paint and the Superdec, both used for interior finishing.

The company also has a sizeable share of the automotive and industrial paints market.

President of Kansai Plascon East Africa Gary van der Merwe said the acquisition signals the company’s latest efforts at global expansion.

“East Africa is one of the fastest growing regions on the continent, with a rapidly emerging middle class, increased spending power and growing urbanisation. This is, therefore, a good time to launch into a market that is in need of our wide range of products to enhance their lifestyles, while also increasing our global footprint,” he said.

Mr Merwe also hinted that Kansai would phase out some products with the intention of introducing new ones from Japan. This is one of the steps the new managers plan to take as they restructure Sadolin’s operations.

“After we have consolidated the operations, we shall be introducing some of our products that are not yet manufactured here to suit the ever-evolving needs and trends of the market,” he said.

According to the Japanese daily Nikkei Asian Review, Kansai’s market share in the African construction paint market is about 40 per cent.

The company aims to increase its sales in the continent to $484.81 million (Sh49.8 billion) by 2018.

Kansai is also in the process of acquiring Sadolin Tanzania and Zanzibar.