Akzo Nobel’s £8bn takeover of ICI means 3,500 jobs will be lost

Dutch chemicals group Akzo Nobel has agreed an £8bn takeover of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), the maker of Dulux paint.

Akzo, whose coatings are used on Airbus’s A380 superjumbo, and ICI, will create the world’s biggest paint manufacturer.

Akzo chief executive Hans Wijers admitted there would be job losses at ICI UK sites. ICI employs 3,500 workers in the UK in Slough, Stowmarket in Suffolk, Prudhoe in Northumberland, Birmingham and Hull.

Wijers said: “There will be job losses because there will be overlap, but we will do it in a responsible way.

“I cannot be too specific about redundancies, but do not work from the starting point that all redundancies will be ICI people. We will be focusing on who are the best people for the jobs.”

Wijers said that, as part of the deal, Akzo had sealed an agreement with the trustees of ICI’s pension fund. Akzo will continue to support the fund, and has promised to deliver a one-off cash injection previously agreed by the ICI board.

John McAdam, ICI’s chief executive, added: “Akzo Nobel has made a compelling offer which delivers full value for ICI, reflecting ICI’s strong future growth prospects and strategic opportunities.”

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