ARNHEM, The Netherlands - Akzo Nobel said it will boost its ownership stake in the South Korean powder-coatings company Interpon Powder Coatings (Korea) Co. Ltd. to 100%.

The business, based at Ansan-City, near Seoul, has been a 50-50 joint venture of Akzo Nobel and DPI Co. Ltd. of Korea, and was launched in 1985. Sales for the business in 2002 were KRW 24 billion, or 19 million euros.

Akzo Nobel said the move strengthens its position in the Korean powder market. Bill McPherson, general manager of Akzo Nobel Powder Coatings, said Korea "represents at least 10% of all powder coatings consumption in the Asia Pacific region," while Asia is a "major electrical appliances market, which is an important user of powder coatings."