Akzo is the main supplier of in-store paints for Wal-Mart and makes the Glidden brand, among others. Although the business had sales of $1.5 billion in 2011, analysts believed it was not as profitable as Akzo's larger industrial paints and coatings businesses. Akzo said it would use proceeds to focus on stronger markets and growth markets.
The sale is the first strategic move by new Chief Executive Ton Buechner, who joined the company in April but left shortly afterward due to fatigue. He returned last week and is due to address analysts on a conference call later Friday.