Sherwin-Williams CEO is holding out for Trump

He’s betting on a winner.

The chairman of paint giant Sherwin-Williams knows a pro-business leader when he sees one — and he’s rolling the dice on President-elect Donald Trump.

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John Morikis, the 53-year-old Fortune 500 CEO, is looking forward to January 20 and for good reason. He’s butting heads with the Obama administration’s Federal Trade Commission because of its review of the company’s proposed $11.3 billion buyout of rival Valspar.


The FTC has thrown hints out that it wants Sherwin-Williams to ante up more before it approves the takeover, the New York Post reported. But Morikis is standing pat and biding his time until after the January 20 change in power, under the belief that he’ll get a better deal then. But the regulator is pushing back. The Post reported:

The FTC, under current Chair Edith Ramirez, who is expected to be replaced on Jan. 20, has in the past two weeks taken the unusual step of asking Lowe’s, Valspar’s biggest customer, to offer its view on the deal, sources said.

In fact, the FTC said it would issue a subpoena to get a response if Lowe’s didn’t comply, sources said.

Lowe’s, which represents about 20 percent of Valspar’s sales — and promotes only Sherwin and Valspar — responded and told the FTC it does not want to see the merger, sources said.


The deal, once approved, would allow Sherwin-Williams, the US’s largest paint manufacturer, to purchase Valspar, America’s fourth leading paint company, at $113 a share.

“It sounds to me like the [FTC] is talking about suing Sherwin [to stop the deal] or they want a bigger divestment,” a source told the Post, adding that it now has Lowe’s as a witness.

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After the FTC rejected Sherwin-Williams’s initial offer, which included selling off Valspar’s wood finishing business, Morikis decided to wait it out until the advent of what he believes will be a more pro-industrial Trump administration.

“If you were a poker player, it might be a good time to bluff a little,” a source close to Sherwin said.

But maybe it’s more prediction than it is bluff. Morikis’s view is shared by Wall Street. Despite wailings from Democrats that a Trump administration would spell doom and gloom, the market has skyrocketed.

It’s good to bet on a winner for once.


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