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Valspar buildings at 11th Avenue and Third Street South.

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Valspar paints its way to U.K., Ireland

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER
  • Star Tribune
  • November 16, 2012 - 8:31 PM

Valspar Corp. expanded its overseas marketing reach Friday when it announced a partnership with British retailer B&Q to sell Valspar paint in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The marketing arrangement will put Valspar's consumer paints in 350 retail locations operated by B&Q, a leading do-it-yourself and garden store, and give Valspar an opportunity to launch a decorative paints promotional campaign there. B&Q is a unit of Kingfisher PLC, the world's third-largest do-it-yourself retail operation.

Valspar said the deal significantly expands its presence in the two countries, but it won't have a material effect on Valspar earnings in fiscal 2013.

"Valspar already has significant paint operations overseas in Australia and China, but this gives them exposure to Europe," said Peter Johnson, an analyst at mutual fund management firm Mairs and Power Inc. in St. Paul. Valspar's paint business accounts for about $1.6 billion of its $4 billion in annual revenue, he said.

"But we'll have to wait and see how well Valspar does there," Johnson said. "While Valspar is a very powerful brand here in the U.S., the big question is how well the brand will translate to the United Kingdom and Ireland."

Valspar stock closed Friday at $56.67, up 95 cents or 1.7 percent.

Johnson said it was hard to tell whether Valspar's stock rose because of the European announcement or because of signs of a rebound in the U.S. housing market, which also would benefit the company's paint business.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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