Nippon Paint Co., Ltd. (NPC), Osaka, Japan, has finalized its purchase of the majority of Rohm and Haas Company's (ROH) Automotive Coatings business, and will introduce NB Coatings, Inc., to serve North American customers.

NPC purchased the wholly owned Rohm and Haas business in North America and Rohm and Haas' 50 percent share of the companies' joint ventures, Morton Nippon Coatings (MNC) in North America and Nippon Bee Chemical (NBC) in Japan. The second joint venture, NBC, will remain under the same company name. This purchase and introduction of NB Coatings unites the decade-long partnering organizations under one strategy to create a leading position in the North American plastic automotive coatings market.

John Culbertson, former vice president of Rohm and Haas and business unit director for Automotive Coatings, will assume the position of NB Coatings president. "Judging by the success of our previous joint ventures with Nippon, I have great confidence for the future of NB Coatings," said Culbertson. "Our combined strategic focus and market leadership in paint on plastic will strengthen NB Coatings' customer offerings for our North American customers and OEMs, and continue to build upon Nippon's strong relationships with Japanese OEMs."

The businesses acquired by NPC collectively represent a leading position in the global automotive plastic paint market with strong positions in North America, Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea. The predecessor company to the Rohm and Haas business, Bee Chemical, was originally founded in Chicago in 1945 and has been collaborating with NPC in this market since the 1960s with the first joint venture established in Japan in 1971.

"This new unified position in plastic automotive coatings, combined with NPC's strengths as a leading supplier of automotive body paint, uniquely positions NPC for continued growth as a supplier with the breadth and depth of products to meet the coating needs of automakers around the world," said Koichi Kimoto, executive director and general manager, corporate planning, research and development international for NPC.