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Akzo Nobel adds incentives in takeover quest for ICI

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The ongoing takeover quest of ICI Paints by Netherlands-based coatings giant Akzo Nobel will continue into November, when both companies hold discussions with shareholders about the proposed buyout deal.

ICI, with a corporate parent based in the United Kingdom, has a large North American presence with brands including Dulux, Glidden and Liquid Nails. The company was No. 16 on HCN’s Top 500 list of home channel retailers, following estimated 2006 sales at ICI’s retail stores of $1.8 billion.

Akzo has upped its bid for ICI to about $16 billion and has expressed confidence in receiving shareholder backing for the bid. To further woo its own investors, Akzo announced this week it would raise dividend payouts by 15 cents and give $3 billion back to investors by 2009.

“This is a year of incredible transformation,” said Akzo chairman Hans Wijers in a statement. “We are fully on track in creating one of the world’s leading industrial companies. We have a strong portfolio of businesses in attractive growth markets and, coupled with the synergies of the ICI integration … we should be able to outgrow our markets.”

Akzo manufactures paints and coatings under the names Crown, Sikken and Schoenox, among others, with operations in 60 countries.

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Wood products company Pope & Talbot to close three mills temporarily

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wood products company Pope & Talbot will shutter three mills temporarily to reduce the company’s inventory of finished goods.

Mills in the British Columbia cities of Grand Forks, Castlegar and Fort St. James will be shut down for two weeks beginning Oct. 15. The mills produce high-end softwood lumber products.

Company CEO Harold Stanton said the move was necessary due to falling prices of softwood lumber products and a stronger Canadian dollar.

“Moving forward, we will continue to make adjustments as the market dictates,” he said.

Portland, Ore.-based Pope & Talbot produces pulp and wood products for markets in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

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Do it Best fall market to kick off this weekend

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best Corp. will hold its fall market Oct. 13 to 16 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, with several previews scheduled on Oct. 12.

This year’s fall market will include the sixth year of the “Power Preview” event starting on Oct. 12, held at Victory Field adjacent to the convention center. The Power Preview will feature 25 outdoor power equipment vendors who will display their wares for Do it Best dealers.

The fall market also will include a “Rental Zone” preview on Oct. 12, during which members can try rental items and place bids on used items.

The convention also includes planned tours of Sullivan Hardware & Garden, a dealer based in Indianapolis, and learning sessions on driving customer loyalty and working within the Do it Best “Signature Store Design Program.”

NASA astronaut James Lovell Jr. will serve as keynote speaker at the event.

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