H.B. Fuller Selling Paints Business for $120M

H.B. Fuller has agreed to sell its paints unit, which is based in Central America, to a Colombia-based company so that it can focus on its adhesives business.

H.B. Fuller Company announced Monday that it has agreed to sell its paints business, which is based in Central America, to Colombia-based Compania Global de Pinturas for $120 million.

The deal is expected to close within 60 days, Vadnais Heights-based H.B. Fuller said.

The business that is being sold generated revenue totaling $113.5 million in 2011-or about 7 percent of H.B. Fuller's total revenue. The unit employs nearly 800 at production plants and laboratories in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama.

H.B. Fuller said that while its paint business has “a strong market position,” the company is selling the unit so it can focus on its adhesives business. The paints business is H.B. Fuller's only unit that is not in the adhesives industry.

Late last year, H.B. Fuller agreed to purchase the industrial adhesives business of Switzerland-based Forbo Group for $394 million. Last month, it announced plans to close seven facilities across the country as part of the Forbo acquisition.

“Our strategic vision is to be the best adhesives company in the world, and the paints business is not, therefore, core to our strategic plan,” H.B. Fuller CEO and President Jim Owens said in a statement. “Our divestiture enables this excellent business to be part of a company with a strategic position in the paint industry.”

The buyer is a paints company that operates in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Caribbean. Its parent company, Grupo Mundial, operates 53 companies in 12 countries and generated sales totaling $1.07 billion in 2011.

H.B. Fuller is among Minnesota's 30-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $1.6 billion in 2011.