RPM International

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RPM International Inc
Traded as NYSERPM
Industry Paint
Industrial coatings
Building Materials
Founded 1947
Headquarters Medina, Ohio, USA
Key people
Frank C. Sullivan Chairman and CEO
Ronald A. Rice President and COO
Revenue Increase$4.4 billion USD (2014)
Decrease$278.1 million USD (2014)
Increase$291.7 million USD (2014)
Total assets Increase$4.4 billion USD (2014)
Total equity Increase$1.4 billion USD (2014)
Number of employees
11,000 (2014)
Website www.RPMinc.com
Footnotes / references

RPM International Inc is an American multinational holding company with subsidiaries that manufacture and market high-performance specialty coatings, sealants and building materials. Industrial brands include Stonhard, Tremco, illbruck, Carboline, Flowcrete, Universal Sealants and Euco. RPM's consumer products are used by professionals and do-it-yourselfers for home maintenance and improvement and by hobbyists. Consumer brands include Zinsser, Rust-Oleum, DAP, Varathane and Testors.[2]

The company has approximately 11,000 employees worldwide who work in 94 manufacturing facilities in 24 countries.[1] Its products are sold in 160 countries and territories.[1] It is the sixth largest paint and coating company in the world.[3]

RPM is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RPM. Its shares are owned by more than 400 institutions and 120,000 individual investors.[1] It ranks among the top 200 in total shares held by BetterInvesting investment clubs.[4] RPM has increased its cash dividend paid to stockholders for 41 consecutive years,[5] which places the company in an elite category of less than half of one percent of all 19,000 publicly traded U.S. companies. Only 47 other companies, besides RPM, have consecutively paid an increasing annual dividend for this period of time or longer, according to the summer 2014 edition of the Mergent Handbook of Dividend Achievers.[6]

Over the ten-year period from May 31, 2004, to 2014, RPM has outperformed the S&P 500 by 100 percent in total return generated for its shareholders, which includes both capital appreciation and reinvestment of dividends.[1]


RPM operates through two segments:

  • an Industrial segment (producing commercial sealants and institutional roofing systems; polymer flooring systems; molded and pultruded fiberglass reinforced plastic gratings and design structures; heavy-duty corrosion control coatings; structural and architectural fireproofing products, including primary and secondary containment linings; exterior insulating finishing systems, including textured finish coats, sealers, and variegated aggregate finishes; powder coatings; fluorescent colorants and pigments; concrete and masonry additives and related construction chemicals; commercial carpet and floor cleaning solutions; industrial and commercial floor systems; specialty adhesives and sealants; fuel additives; wood and lumber treatments; and pleasure marine coatings) selling its products in approximately 150 countries and territories directly to contractors, distributors, and end-users. In fiscal 2014, the company’s industrial products accounted for 63 percent of total sales.[2]
  • a Consumer segment (producing coating products; small project paints; rust-preventative paints; caulks and sealants, patch and repair products, and adhesives; specialty products for surface preparation, primers and sealers, mold and mildew prevention and maintenance; wallpaper removal and application products; waterproofing coatings; hobby paints and cements; wood furniture finishes and touch-up products; deck and fence restoration products; metallic and faux finish coatings; shellac-based specialty coatings; and edible glazes and food coatings.) selling to consumers primarily in North America and the United Kingdom via mass merchandisers. Consumer products accounted for approximately 37 percent of total sales in fiscal 2014.[2]

Subsidiary Companies[edit]

Industrial Companies[edit]

Consumer Companies[edit]


In May 1947, Frank C. Sullivan founded Republic Powdered Metals, the forerunner to RPM International Inc. The company manufactured and sold a heavy-duty aluminum roof coating called Alumanation, which is still sold today. Sales in the first year reached $90,000. From the beginning Sullivan determined that the success of the business would rest with its people. “Hire the best people you can find,” he said. “Create an atmosphere that will keep them. Then, let them do their jobs.” RPM operates under this same philosophy today. Every year under his leadership, the company attained sales and earnings increases.[7]

In August 1971, Frank Sullivan died suddenly. Later that same year, RPM, Inc. was formed to become a holding company to develop a more aggressive acquisition program in a rapidly consolidating paint and coatings industry. Frank’s son, Thomas C. Sullivan, who was previously president of Republic Powdered Metals, became chairman and chief executive officer of the holding company. He and James A. Karman, who was elected president and chief operating officer in 1978, led RPM for more than three decades.[7]

After more than 30 years at the company’s helm, Sullivan and Karman retired as executive officers of the company in 2002. During their tenure, net sales increased to $2 billion from $11 million, net income increased to $101.6 million from $0.6 million, cash dividends per share increased to $0.50 from $0.0035 (split-adjusted), and a $1,000 investment in RPM shares in 1971 would have been worth more than $100,000.[8]

Tom was succeeded by his son, Frank C. Sullivan, who became president and chief executive officer in 2002. He has continued to lead the company in a manner consistent with the legacy created by his father and grandfather before him. RPM’s strategy for growth remains to: establish and maintain brand leadership in the markets it serves, strike a balance between industrial and consumer markets, generate growth both organically and through acquisitions, and to maintain an entrepreneurial operating culture.


  1. ^ a b c d e "RPM International Inc. 2014 Annual Report". U.S.: RPM International Inc. 26 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "RPM International Inc. Overview". RPM International Inc. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Coatings World Top Companies Report". Rodman Publishing. 14 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "BetterInvesting Magazine Top 100 Companies". BetterInvesting. April 2014. 
  5. ^ "RPM Increases Cash Dividend for 41st Consecutive Year". RPM International Inc. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Mergent Handbook of Dividend Achievers, U.S.: Mergent Inc., July 31, 2014, ISBN 978-1630530686 
  7. ^ a b Jon VanZile, ed. (2002). The Heritage and Values of RPM Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL: Write Stuff Enterprises Inc. p. 144. ISBN 0-945903-73-1. 
  8. ^ RPM International Inc. 2002 Annual Report, U.S., 29 August 2002 

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