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Amsterdam firm to buy Soliant

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By The Staff

TROY, Mich. – AkzoNobel, the world's largest supplier of paints and coatings, has significantly strengthened its position in the automotive plastics decorating market through the acquisition of Soliant LLC, a leading manufacturer of decorative paint and bright films.

Soliant's coatings alternatives are used primarily in the automotive market.

"The acquisition of Soliant LLC affirms our position of investing in 'green' technologies that offer substantial and sustainable growth potential," said Jim Rees, general manager for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes. "This addition to our portfolio is about developing a new approach to our markets."

Rees said Soliant is especially attractive because of the strong management team in place and the unique intellectual properties, protected by patents, upon which its product offerings are based.

Soliant's Fluorex(R) paint films and bright films complement AkzoNobel's liquid coatings portfolio, the company said. This combination of film and liquid paint enables AkzoNobel to offer customers another option in their full range of decorating choices. Soliant has developed outstanding manufacturing technologies and possesses technological know-how in a specialized field that is increasingly important as the automotive industry looks for eco-friendly coatings solutions. It supplies many of the leading auto manufacturers and producers of automotive parts.

"AkzoNobel is a unique partner," said Soliant President Jerry Patton. "They bring a global reach to our business that is unsurpassed in the decorating marketplace. We are excited about the possibilities and opportunities that this acquisition will bring to our customers and employees."

Soliant was established in 2002 as a management buyout from former owner Rexam PLC. It operates a manufacturing facility in Lancaster, employing approximately 100 people.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of this month. Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AkzoNobel employs 60,000 people in more than 80 countries. Its 2007 revenue totaled 14.4 billion euros.