Akzo Nobel is to boost its coatings activities in Germany with the acquisition of the ICI Group's wood finishes business Zweihorn Gmbh, which is based in Hilden.

The two companies have reached an agreement for Akzo Nobel to acquire all shares in Zweihorn, which has 55 employees and recorded a 2004 turnover of approximately EUR 18 million. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

"Zweihorn's clients and products are a good addition and form a perfect fit with our existing customers and woodcare portfolio," says Leif Abildgaard, of Akzo Nobel's Decorative Coatings Europe business.

Kees Kuijken, general manager of Deco Europe's Specialties sub-Business Unit, says, "We are very happy with the Zweihorn brand, which we regard as an additional pearl to our existing string of strong brands."

Zweihorn, which focuses mainly on the German market, is active in the development, marketing and sales of industrial interior wood finishes for the professional joinery sector.

Completion of the deal is subject to receipt of the appropriate regulatory approval, while employee unions and representative bodies have been informed and consultation procedures will also take place where applicable.