CLEVELAND - The Sherwin-Williams Co. announced a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of Duron Inc. in a transaction valued at $253 million plus the assumption of "certain financial obligations." Sherwin-Williams said the sale would be completed following regulatory approvals.

Duron, based in Beltsville, MD, is a major regional architectural-coatings manufacturer, and operates 231 company-owned stores in the eastern United States. The company has annual sales of approximately $350 million.

Sherwin-Williams Chairman and CEO Christopher M. Connor said the company plans to retain current Duron employees, its store and territory network, and existing Duron manufacturing facilities.

Duron Chairman Robert Feinberg said the sale to Sherwin-Williams "will offer Duron's employees a strong future of enhanced opportunity and our customers the assurance of ongoing access to the Duron products on which they depend."

Duron traces its beginnings to 1949, when Feinberg's father, Harry Feinberg, acquired half of a small paint company in Washington, DC, and made supply and service to the painting-contractor market the company's primary focus. The company, renamed Duron, grew to become one of the nation's top five coatings manufacturers and retailers, with manufacturing facilities in Maryland and Georgia.