UK paint firm to change hands again

Crown Paints, the UK business acquired last year by a Dutch company, is to be put up for sale.

Akzo Nobel is offloading the business under a deal agreed with the European Commission to gain clearance for its £8 billion takeover of chemicals groups ICI last year.

The Dutch owner is believed to have until the summer to make the sale.

The ICI deal saw Akzo take control of Britain's top two paint manufacturers, with newly acquired Dulux the top player in the market, followed by Crown.

Crown is thought to employ around 1,400 people at three sites across the UK - its main site in Darwen, Lancashire, and at Warrington and Hull.

Sites in Dublin and Belfast are also understood to be up for sale as part of the European agreement.

Akzo confirmed that the auction process for Crown had begun, but would not comment further.

Image: Crown is changing hands again

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