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LIFTING THE LID


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et’s start with a little history – Leighs Paints was founded in 1860 by two brothers, William and Joshua Leigh. Sherwin Williams is a company that


was set up in 1866, making it only six years younger than the Leigh’s family business. The Sherwin-Williams Company was founded in Cleveland, Ohio by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams. Today, the company is a global leader in the development, manufacture and sale of coatings and industrial related products with approximately 33,000 employees and business in 116 countries. With annual sales of more than $9 billion, Sherwin-Williams is the third largest coatings company in the world and the largest coatings manufacturer in the United States.


Q. Sherwin-Williams acquired Leighs in July 2011 and in most of your press releases you describe Leighs as ‘a fire protection company’. Was this the main reason for the acquisition, or did you also see other reasons for buying the company?


Narsi Bodapati: Leighs Paints was acquired for a number of reasons. It has a very strong fire protection offering, including some of the leading passive protection products in the market, which complements the Sherwin- Williams protective and marine coatings portfolio well. It was a great opportunity to acquire an organisation which had real strength in the protective coatings sector and a manufacturing base in Europe to better serve customers’ needs and grow Sherwin-Williams’ presence in the region.


Gordon Bell: We also found that the cultures were similar in both organisations, with the same values and principles. Sherwin-Williams and Leighs Paints share many similarities in our history, our culture and our commitment to customer service. By pooling our resources and expertise, we will continue to develop and deliver innovative coating technologies to support our customers.


Q. Leighs Paints has sales and technical support centres located in the UK, Canada, India, Germany and United Arab Emirates. Will these centres now be used to promote all Sherwin Williams’ products?


Gordon Bell: Yes, we will promote Sherwin- Williams’ products in these regions. This was one of the main reasons for the acquisition, as we intend to utilise the reach of the organisation and incorporate Sherwin-Williams products into our portfolio. Customers can now benefit from our expanded range of coatings. The products offered by both Leighs Paints and Sherwin- Williams complement each other, and customers


can expect the same high-quality level of service throughout the transition.


Q. Leighs officially began to trade under the name Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings January 1st, 2013. Does this mean that the Leighs Paints brand will disappear?


Gordon Bell: Yes, Leighs Paints is now trading as Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings. The protective coatings industry is a truly global business, with projects being designed, specified, constructed and operated in many locations around the world. Our customers and partners operate globally and by integrating Leighs Paints and Sherwin-Williams we are making it easier for customers to do business with us. Leighs Paints’ brands such as FIRETEX® will


remain, as the product will continue to be made, and they have a strong track record in their markets and we would not want to lose that brand recognition.


Q. Are there any plans to grow Sherwin Williams through future acquisitions?


Gordon Bell: We are looking to grow our business globally. This growth will likely be a combination of organic and inorganic means.


Q. Are there are areas in particular that you are looking to expand?


Gordon Bell: As we grow our business as Sherwin-Williams around the world, we are looking to expand our protective and marine coatings portfolio to meet a wide range of applications in the petrochemical, civil, infrastructure, mining and light industrial sectors.


Brad Rossetto: We are committed to delivering the same protective coatings formulations that our customers have grown to trust, drawing on our rich heritage and expertise. We will continue to serve our customers’ needs in global emerging markets, where demand is growing for high-quality protective coatings.


Gordon Bell: What makes Sherwin-Williams stand out against the competition is the unparalleled customer service and technical expertise that we offer. From talking to our customers, we know that good service is most important to them and both Leighs Paints and Sherwin-Williams put the customer at the heart of the business. Our aim as Leighs Paints, and now as Sherwin-Williams, has always been to place great importance on reliability of service and continue to create innovative products which meet our customers’ needs.


APRIL-JUNE 2013 PCE 5


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