THE HAGUE — AkzoNobel (IW 1000/217) said Monday that it has completed the sale of its North American decorative paints division to PPG (IW 500/78) in a billion-dollar deal.

"AkzoNobel has today finalized the $1.05 billion sale," it said in a statement.

The group announced the deal Dec. 14, saying the sale would allow it to focus more on Europe and "high-growth markets."

These regions in particular included Asian countries such as China, India and Singapore as well as Latin America, an AkzoNobel spokesman said at the time.

The sale included AkzoNobel's decorative paints businesses in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Cash proceeds of the sale would amount to around $875 million, AkzoNobel said.

AkzoNobel, the world's top paint maker, employed 5,000 workers at eight sites in North America, and 55,000 people worldwide.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PPG produces a range of coatings for the home, aerospace and shipping industries and operates in 60 countries around the world.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013