Dutch coatings specialist AkzoNobel today confirmed that it has ended talks about potentially merging its paints and coatings division with Axalta after failing to reach an agreement.

Instead, AkzoNobel says it will continue to focus on its strategy of accelerating sustainable growth and profitability through the creation of two focused, high-performing businesses and remains committed to its 2020 financial guidance of 15% return on sales and over 25% return on investment.

The separation of the AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals business and return of the vast majority of the net proceeds to shareholders remain on track.

"I am confident that our strategy offers significant value for shareholders and other stakeholders in the short, medium and long term,” says Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel CEO. “We remain focused on our strategic options to continue to develop our business and improve profitability in the future.”

Headquartered in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, AkzoNobel employs 46,000 people in around 80 countries. The company was the target of three failed takeover bids from PPG Industries earlier this year.