The Valspar Corporation, a leading coatings manufacturer, has acquired a Dutch coatings manufacturing and distribution business. De Beer Lakfabrieken is a privately-owned, manufacturer and distributor of automotive refinish coatings based in Lelystad, The Netherlands. The acquisition includes De Beer’s subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and Australia. De Beer sells products in over 65 countries and had sales in calendar year 2003 of approximately $39 million Euro ($50 million U.S. at current exchange rates). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Richard M. Rompala, Valspar’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, “De Beer is an excellent strategic fit with Valspar. This acquisition broadens our product offering and technology for the U.S. automotive refinish market and enhances our ability to grow in this attractive market on a global basis. We expect the acquisition will be modestly accretive to earnings in 2004.” Joel Hart vice-president automotive stated that De Beer will continue to operate under the direction of Marco Van Der Woude and his excellent management team. “We expect to continue to operate under the same principles that have made De Beer a successful company. Expanded cooperation with technical, manufacturing and marketing should add substantial value to our customers” commented Mr. van der Woude, managing director of De Beer.