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In an effort to strengthen its position in the aerospace industry, coatings giant PPG Industries Inc. (PPG - Analyst Report) has landed a definitive deal to buy specific assets of privately-held specialty coatings company Deft Incorporated. 

The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in second-quarter 2013. The financial terms of the transaction were undisclosed.
 
Irvine, Calif.-based Deft supplies structural primers, chrome-free primers and military topcoats to the North American aviation industry. It also makes wood finishes for the retail market.
 
The acquisition of Deft’s assets will expand PPG Industries’ product portfolio and is expected to reinforce its position as a leading coatings supplier for the aerospace industry. Deft’s waterborne and chrome-free technologies will complement the Pittsburgh-based company’s existing coatings capabilities. 
 
PPG Industries and Deft share a rich history of developing technologies that support the growing adoption of improved environmentally sustainable solutions by the aviation industry. With Deft’s green coating systems, PPG Industries will be better placed to offer a wide array of coatings solutions to its customers with lower environmental impact.
 
PPG Industries has a diversified business, both in terms of products offered and geographical presence. It has a leading position in several paints and coatings end markets. PPG Industries caters to the aviation industry through its aerospace products and services business – PPG Aerospace – a global supplier with 18 coatings facilities across the planet.
 
PPG Industries taking steps to grow its business inorganically by making a number of acquisitions. It recently closed the acquisition of the North American architectural coatings business of Dutch paints company AkzoNobel, N.V. (AKZOY) for $1.05 billion. This marked the second-largest acquisition in the company’s history.
 
PPG Industries sees mixed economic trends in 2013 with continued strength in North America, improvements in Asia and sustained weakness in Europe. The company is pursuing restructuring of its European operation, which is expected to fetch meaningful cost savings this year. However, the European market is expected to remain under pressure and raw material inflation and currency headwinds remain concerns for the company.
 
PPG Industries currently holds a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (hold).
 
Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering are Olin Corp. (OLN - Snapshot Report) and Axiall Corporation (AXLL - Snapshot Report). While Olin holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Axiall carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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