Hempel has acquired Khimj Paints. We spoke to Mark Rees, Vice President, Head of Decorative, Middle East at Hempel, about the acquisition, the market in Oman and the decorative coatings segment.

You have acquired Khimji Paints. Could you please briefly describe the motivation for this move?

Mark Rees: Khimji Paints is a very respected paint supplier in the market. Our interest in Khimji Paints falls in line with our double impact strategy since with this acquisition we will significantly increase our market share in Oman. Furthermore, the move is complementing our present existence in the market. Oman has had steady growth in the region over the past decade with a lot more investments in the pipeline for the coming years. The decorative market comprises 85 % of the paint market in Oman. We see the decorative segment as the primary area of growth in Oman.

To what extent does the demand differ from the European region?

Rees: If we talk primarily about the decorative market, we can see that DIY is not very strong and customers are very price sensitive. The protective segment along with marine is primarily driven by specifications and hence quality is of primary importance.

Some ten years ago you have started to expand your footprint in the decorative coatings segment. What share holds this segment in your business?

Rees: The decorative segment is structurally different to the other Hempel segments due to the significant company-owned store network. The decorative segment now accounts for 42 % of Hempel’s employees, 61 % of Hempel’s production volumes, and 40 % of Hempel’s total revenue.

This is the fourth acquisition in less than four years in the decorative coatings segment. What are the next steps?

Rees: The ambition with our double impact strategy is to double Hempel, and whilst doing so, to more than double decorative. As we integrate our recent acquisitions, we provide a platform from which to deliver real, sustainable organic growth. At the same time, we continue to be active in our search for new family members.

Event tip

Are you interested in the Middle East region? The newly-established Gulf Coatings Show and Conference, which will take place on 17-19 October 2022 in Sharjah, UAE, bring together the whole supply chain and gives updates on the latest innovations.