Hempel splashes out for Crown Paints

The danish paints group Hempel has bought Crown Paints from the private equity firm Endless.

Crown, based in Lancashire, was bought by the private equity firm in a management buyout in 2008 for £70m from the chemical giant Akzo Nobel.

That deal helped safeguard 1,500 jobs and Crown, headed by Brian Davidson, left, has since returned to the black, posting underlying profits last year of £20m on sales of £180m.

The financial terms of the sale were not disclosed yesterday, but recent reports have speculated that a deal could be worth £150m.