Sheffield firm advises on sale of Spencer’s coating business


Sheffield law firm Wake Smith has advised the shareholders of Spencer Coatings Group on the company’s acquisition by US-based Axalta Coating Systems.

Leading global liquid and powder coatings supplier Axalta bought the Spencer Coatings Group, the largest independent industrial coatings manufacturer in the UK, for an undisclosed sum on at the beginning of this month.

The purchase will see the group able to exploit its portfolio of brands and world class technologies into a global market and benefit from greater investment and growth programmes through Axalta’s backing.

Axalta works in 130 countries, has nearly 13,000 employees, and has more than 100,000 customers boasting net sales of $4.1bn in 2016.

The Spencer Coatings Group, established in 1909, has administrative, sales and manufacturing bases in Aberdeen, Belfast, Mansfield, Manchester, West Bromwich and Tewkesbury, employing around 130 staff.

The Wake Smith team was led by corporate director John Baddeley with associate solicitor Rebecca Robinson and solicitor Gavin Hesketh assisting and commercial property director Lisa Davison advising on property-related aspects.

John Baddeley, who has acted for Spencer Coatings Group on a number of previous acquisitions over the years, added: ‘We are really pleased to have advised the shareholders of Spencer Coatings on this transaction and assisted in securing the best possible outcome for all parties involved. The shareholders are delighted with the strong message from Axalta that growth, support and investment, as part of a bigger company, will be forthcoming.”


Well-known Spencer products include Acothane™ polyurethanes for internal and external pipeline coatings, Corroless™ coatings which provide a range of highly efficient corrosion control solutions for a variety of steel structures, and high-performance water-based coatings for both glass and general industrial segments.


Phil Buck, MD of Spencer Coatings Group, said: “We have spent the past twenty years building a specialised industrial coatings business with innovative coating systems which are supplied to customers in the UK and overseas.

“To continue to grow and provide confidence to our customers and employees, we felt that the Spencer Coatings Group would benefit from being part of a larger coatings company that would enable us to accelerate our growth plans.

“Axalta Coating Systems, with its global footprint and commitment to innovation, will provide the best home for our company and we are very excited about the prospects for both companies.”

Michael Cash, senior vice president and president, Industrial Coatings at Axalta, said: “We are very proud to welcome the Spencer Coatings Group into the Axalta family. Spencer’s industry-leading product technologies fit very well within Axalta’s current industrial portfolio. With the acquisition of Spencer, we will have the opportunity to take some incredibly innovative products and expand into new geographies, as well as provide our combined industrial customers with additional product technologies.”