By Liz White. UT staffSydney, Australia-BASF is acquiring all the shares in BASF Akzo Nobel (BAN)-a 50:50 joint venture between the two companies which markets coatings for the automotive industry in Australia. No financial details were given.BASF said it will also take the opportunity to combine its two coatings entities in Australia. From 1 July 2005, its OEM coatings and refinish coatings businesses (BASF Coatings Pty Ltd in Sydney) will be one unit, called BASF Coatings Australia Pty Ltd. In 2004, these two businesses had posted combined sales of approximately €25 million. About 80 employees will work for the new company, said BASF's statement on the deal. "This transaction gives us an excellent foundation to further develop our OEM business in Australia. BASF is known globally as market leader in high-quality coatings technology for the automotive industry. As a strong member of BASF's business networks, both globally and in the Asia-Pacific region, BASF Coatings Australia will fully capitalise on these strengths as a preferred partner to help our customers be more successful," said Wolfgang Micklitz, Director OEM Coatings for Asia-Pacific, in the BASF statement. "