General view of the outside of AkzoNobel's new paint factory in Ashington, Britain September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble
The Hague-30 October 2017: Dutch chemical giant and leading paintmaker AkzoNobel announced Monday that it is in merger talks with leading US rival, Axalta.
"In response to market speculation, AkzoNobel confirms today it is currently in constructive discussions regarding a merger of the AkzoNobel Paints & Coatings business with Axalta," the company said in a statement.
"This will create a leading global paints and coatings company through a merger of equals," it added.
Bloomberg News said Axalta is the world's leading maker of auto finish paints and "the deal would combine two companies with a market value of about $30 billion".
In past months, AkzoNobel has been fighting a planned takeover by another US rival, Pittsburgh-based PPG which would have valued the Dutch company at 26.9 billion euros ($32.4 billion).
It rejected three multi-billion-euro takeover offers from PPG earlier this year, sparking a bitter legal tussle with an activist investor Elliott Advisors which had pushed the tie-up.
The Amsterdam-based maker of such household paints as Dulux and Trimetal has already announced plans to spin off its speciality chemicals business.
Formed in 1994 from the merger of the Dutch and Swedish firms Akzo and Nobel, AkzoNobel has a 46,000-strong workforce. Axalta based in Philadelphia employs 13,000 people.