Valspar wants you to put on a coat. The firm makes a variety of coatings and paints for manufacturing, automotive, and food-packaging companies, as well as for consumers. The company's industrial coatings -- used by OEMs including building product, appliance, and furniture makers -- include coatings for metal, wood, plastic, and glass. Packaging products include coatings and inks for rigid containers, such as food and beverage cans. Its consumer paints include interior and exterior paints, primers, stains, and varnishes sold through mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart and Lowe's. Valspar also makes auto paints, colorants, and gelcoats. It is active in Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
Valspar manufactures and distributes a wide range of coatings, paints, and related products. It operates two divisions: Coating and Paints.
The company has operations in 25 countries in Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
Valspar grew in 2011 boosting its revenues by more than 22%, attributable to improvements in global market conditions and its acquisition of new businesses, higher prices, and a strong performance from its Coatings segment. However, its net income fell from $222 million in 2010 to a net loss of $139 million in 2011, largely due to increased sales costs, higher operating expenses and restructuring costs and a $409.7 million charge for impairment of goodwill and intangible assets related to the fair value of its wood and gelcoat reporting assets.
To improve its financial performance, in fiscal 2011 the company began to restructure its wood product line within the Coating segment, announcing plans to reduce manufacturing plants and headcount globally in this segment. It also announced similar measures for its Paints segment in Australia.
Lowe's accounted for more than 10% of the company's sales in 2011, and the hardware and home repair giant has named Valspar paint supplier of the year over several years. Valspar uses its own brand at Lowe's (replacing generic-sounding store brands) in an effort to boost consumer recognition. Valspar has made a point to tailor its products to the needs of retail customers, to the point of placing in-store employees to answer paint questions.
Valspar has boosted its core business through buying smaller coatings companies around the world; in the past decade it made more than 20 bolt-on acquisitions, including joint venture interests. That strategy has made Valspar one of the top global industrial coatings makers.
In 2012 the company announced a deal with B&Q, a unit of Kingfisher plc, to supply a full range of premium Valspar paint to all 350 of its locations in the UK and Ireland.
In 2011 Valspar acquired Brazilian powder coatings maker Isocoat Tintas e Vernizes Ltda. in a deal valued at $34 million. Isocoat serves industrial customers in Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia.
In 2010 Valspar acquired Australian paint manufacturer Wattyl Limited in a $135 million deal.
It made a major move into the China market in 2006, acquiring an 80% stake in Chinese coatings manufacturer Huarun Paints, a maker of wood and furniture coatings.