First and foremost, I appreciate your continued support and sponsorship to Nippon Paint Holdings Group.
As a global leading company in paint and coatings, Nippon Paint Holdings Group plays a key role in the chemical industry and has continued to supply paint and coatings products that conform to changes in society and the environment for nearly 140 years. Founded in 1881 by Jujiro Moteki, an alumnus of Kaisei School, the predecessor of the University of Tokyo, our company originated from the founder’s efforts to solve a social challenge by developing non-toxic zinc white for the first time in Japan to help women who had suffered from poisoning by white lead (a kind of white pigment) contained in face powder at that time. Today, Nippon Paint offers color, comfort, and security to industries and people’s lives in every corner of our society, including automobiles, houses and other buildings, white lines on roads and airfields, large structures such as bridges, railroad trains such as Shinkansen cars, large machines such as cranes, and tankers and other ships.
In light of the recent spread of COVID-19 infection, which is a serious social challenge, Nippon Paint Holdings Group has focused its efforts on the development of paint and coatings that ensure safety and security to society as people adapt to the new normal lifestyle. As part of such initiative, we concluded an industry-academia co-creation agreement with the University of Tokyo in May this year and set up a special engineering team in the company. Through this collaboration, Nippon Paint and the University of Tokyo will jointly work to develop innovative coating technologies that can provide new solutions to social challenges such as preventing the spread of viruses through antiviral and other technologies; enhancing efficiency in smart society and remote-technology-based society; reducing the environmental burden; and cutting social costs, and use them to conserve the global environment and achieve a sustainable society.
Nippon Paint Holdings Group has operations in 29 geographical locations around the globe, and boasts an overwhelming top share in Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, as well as in Australia and Turkey, where we established presence through acquisitions last year. The Group now has more than 25,000 employees worldwide and international sales exceeding 70%, accelerating its global expansion.
On August 21, 2020, Nippon Paint Holdings announced the acquisition of 100% ownership of its Asia joint ventures with the Wuthelam Group since 1962, as well as the Indonesia business. Following this transaction, Nippon Paint Holdings will acquire the entire stake in the Asia joint ventures and the Indonesia business held by the Wuthelam Group on January 1, 2021. As the primary consideration for the acquisition, Nippon Paint Holdings will issue 148.7 million new shares through a third-party allotment to the Wuthelam Group, which will end up increasing the Wuthelam Group’s shareholding in Nippon Paint Holdings to 58.7%. This transaction will transform the existing complex ownership structure into a simplified one, while sufficiently protecting the interests of minority shareholders, allowing us to perfectly align the interests of major shareholder with those of minority shareholders, as well as building a strong financial base. There will be no change to our management structure, and we will maintain our listing.
Nippon Paint Holdings and the Wuthelam Group have a strong trusting relationship and bonds built through our partnership lasting nearly 60 years, and we have dramatically grown our businesses together. Based on the strengthened business structure and financial base, we will leverage our comprehensive capabilities delivered through “spider web management,” in which our partner companies in Japan and overseas cooperate autonomously with each other, with an eye to further enhancing our presence in the domestic and global markets, with Maximization of Shareholder Value (MSV) as the paramount management mission of the Group.
In closing, I would like to ask everyone for your continued guidance and support in our future endeavors.
Thank you very much.