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Economy and Business

Cleveland's Sherwin-Williams to buy Mexican paint rival
But Sherwin-Williams combined operations not expected to add jobs right away

Kevin Niedermier
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams
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One of Cleveland’s oldest and largest companies could nearly double in size, but that will not necessarily mean employment will change. Paint maker Sherwin-Williams has announced an agreement to acquire its’ Mexican rival in a deal worth more than $2 billion dollars. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on the potential local impact of the biggest acquisition in Sherwin-Williams’ history.

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Sherwin-Williams has been headquartered in Cleveland for almost 150-years, and is the largest paint manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere. The paint company wants to buy Mexico’s Consorcio Comex, the hemisphere’s second biggest. Sherwin-Williams has more than 3200 employees world-wide, and 2000 of them are in Cleveland. Comex employs more than 7000 people. Sherwin-Williams spokesman Mike Conway says the combined operations could lead to more employment in the future as the companies grow, but for now things would stay the same.

“We always try to keep the top folks and leaders in the companies we’re acquired over the years because they’re the one who have great relations with professional paint contractors, and that’s our niche in addition to the retail do it yourselfers. But professional contractors are the main drivers for our customer base.”  

Analysts believe that acquiring Comex is a great business move for Sherwin-Williams, because the Mexican company is very profitable in South and Central American, and through its’ operations in Canada and the western United States.  These are all places where Sherwin-Williams has a smaller presence.  Announcement of the agreement pushed up Sherwin-Williams’ stock. Government regulators in the U.S., Mexico and Canada still have to approve the deal. Conway expects approval to come in the first quarter of next year…. I

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