ARNHEM, The Netherlands - Akzo Nobel announced an agreement to acquire the worldwide marine and aerospace-coatings businesses of NOF Corp. of Japan, a purchase that will include portions of U.S. Paint Corp. of the United States and NOF Europe.

The businesses produce the AWLGRIP brand of marine coatings and had total sales of $30 million in 2001.

Under terms of the transaction, U.S. Paint will retain its general industrial coatings business and its production site in St. Louis. Akzo Nobel will acquire U.S. Paint and NOF Europe's marine business sales and a technical-support unit located in Antwerp, Belgium. Production of the marine and aerospace products will be moved to Akzo Nobel facilities in Europe and the United States "in due course," the company said. A total of 34 employees will transfer to Akzo Nobel.

Rudy van der Meer, the member of the Akzo Nobel board of management responsible for coatings, said the acquisition "fits perfectly into Akzo Nobel Coatings' expansion strategy" to pursue growth in the company's pleasure-craft marine paint business. He said the deal also will boost Akzo Nobel's position in the corporate-jet aerospace market and "our overall position in the global aerospace market."

U.S. Paint, founded in 1931, specializes in the manufacture of urethane, epoxy, high-solids and antifouling coatings for the aerospace, marine and other industrial markets.