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AkzoNobel closes New Jersey facility

AkzoNobel’s yacht coatings business said Tuesday that it will cease operations at its facility in Union, N.J.

Production of the Interlux brand will be transferred to AkzoNobel’s strategic facility in Houston, where the company makes marine and protective coatings for North America. Awlgrip production will transfer to AkzoNobel’s facility at Sassenheim in the Netherlands.

The company said the changes are part of its strategic goal of consolidating operations at its major locations to enable better customer service, improved operational productivity and investments in technology.

“This change will position us to better serve our customers in North America and it will leverage the scale and capabilities of AkzoNobel. We had already moved the global headquarters of our yacht business to Houston, and it will now host our laboratory, sales, customer service and marketing departments supporting the North America yacht business. With this move we will complete our integration in Houston," AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings global SBU director Ralf Schueler said in a statement.

“Importantly, our site at Sassenheim in the Netherlands is AkzoNobel’s global center of excellence for color, as well as the manufacture of premium topcoats for the automotive and aerospace business. We see a very close fit, which will also support our ambitions on innovation," Schueler added.

The company said it is committed to establishing the Houston site as the primary North America base for yacht products and creating a long-term manufacturing platform. By consolidating expertise in the RD&I and technical support functions, the company said it seeks to expand the capabilities of the entire business.

Concurrent with the transfer of operations, all other activities also will relocate to Houston from New Jersey, including technical support and customer services. Schueler said the company expects the physical transfer from New Jersey to be completed by September.

As for the New Jersey-based employees, he said, “We are in the process of evaluating opportunities and we’re currently in discussion with employees interested in relocation.”

Schueler said the company will “take great care to minimize the effect on day-to-day operations. We expect this to be as seamless a transition as possible to our customers.”

AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. Its portfolio includes brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International and Eka and it has operations in more than 80 countries and 50,000 employees around the world.

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