By Liz White, UT staffTokyo-BASF has signed a deal with NOF Corp. in Japan to acquire all the shares in BASF NOF Coatings Co. Ltd (BNC), a 50-50 joint venture between the two companies. From 1 April 2005, BNC will become BASF Coatings Japan Ltd. Financial details were not disclosed.BASF also revealed that it plans to develop the new BASF Coatings Japan unit as a regional hub for its coatings business in Asia-Pacific. The acquisition covers all BNC's assets, including production sites in Totsuka, Kanagawa prefecture, and Ako, Hyogo prefecture, Japan. As of 1 April, more than 530 employees will work for BASF Coatings Japan, including some currently employed by NOF.BNC was formed in October 2000 and produces and markets automotive OEM coatings, refinish coatings, and industrial coatings."This transaction underlines BASF's clear commitment to Japan as an important coatings market," said Kaus-Peter Löbbe, BASF board member responsible for coatings, in a company statement. "Japanese car manufacturers are key players in the global automotive industry," commented Jean-Pierre Monteny, president of BASF's coatings division. "BASF Coatings Japan will enable us to expand our partnerships with Japanese car makers, in Japan, the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide", he added."