Japanese paint maker opens subsidiary in Kenya, eyes EAC

Nippon Paint has launched a subsidiary in Kenya, Nipsea Paint Kenya.

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Giant Japanese paint maker Nippon Paint has launched a subsidiary in Kenya, targeting to service the East Africa market from its hub in Nairobi.

The company said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nipsea Paint Kenya, will offer diverse paint products for automobiles, wood coating, and industrial coatings.

The firm will initially deploy a distributorship model through its Nairobi hub before setting up in-country operations in the respective East African countries.

"We are eager to establish our presence on the African continent through Nairobi and East Africa. Over the past two years, we have successfully introduced our products to the market via our distributor, and the response has been exceptional,” said Sharad Malhotra, director of Nippon Paint India and Nipsea Paint Kenya.

The firm revealed plans to set up a factory in Mombasa to help claw market share in the East Africa bloc.

“The investment will create job opportunities, enhance local skill development through specialised training programmes, and contribute to the overall economic development of the region as the organization is aiming to build a factory in the city of Mombasa,” Nippon Paint said.

“Nippon’s commitment to introducing high-quality, innovative products will elevate industry standards and provide consumers with superior choices, driving further growth and prosperity in East Africa,” it added.

Nippon Paint joins another giant Japanese paint firm AkzoNobel in the race for East Africa’s budding market.

AkzoNobel, in June 2022, struck a deal to buy the assets of the rival Kansai Plascon’s business in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania Burundi, and the rest of Africa in a bid to strengthen its footprint in the region.

The takeover of Kansai Plason’s assets in East Africa is however now subject to a condition that it divests its Sadolin paint brand to an independent or third-party competitor based in Uganda. Kansai Plascon Africa Limited acquired Kenya’s Sadolin paints for Sh10 billion in 2017.

The acquisition of Kansai Plascon’s assets in Kenya and the rest of Africa came in the wake of a buying spree by Amsterdam-based AkzoNobel, including Titan Paints in Spain and Portugal, New Nautical Coatings in the US and Grupo Orbis in Latin America.

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