By Liz White, UT contributing editorLudwigshafen, Germany-BASF Coatings AG is to sell its Glasurit construction paints business to Akzo Nobel and acquire parts of Akzo Nobel's agricultural and construction machinery paints business as part of what the group calls a "continuing to shift its business activities to profitable growth markets." Both companies expect to complete the transfer in the second half of 2004, subject to the approval of the bodies involved.The transactions will cover customer bases, special technologies and market expertise, but will not affect any manufacturing facilities, BASF said. Details of any staff transfers are currently being agreed between the two parties. The Glasurit construction paints unit "only partly fits into the company's main product portfolio," said a BASF Coatings statement. "With these transactions, we consistently continue to pursue our strategy of profitable growth. It is mainly the acquisition of coatings for agricultural and construction machinery that will give us another boost," said Jean-Pierre Monteny, ceo of BASF Coatings. "This also applies for the foil coatings business we recently acquired from the Treffert Group and the expansion of our presence in the Chinese coil coatings market. Simultaneously, we assume that the window and exterior door coatings business will bring development potential to companies specialising in these market segments," added Monteny.BASF Coatings, which had 2003 turnover of Euro 2000 million, aims to expand in coil and foil coatings as well as in the commercial transport and commercial vehicle paints-all segments it claims to be well positioned in worldwide. "