THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch chemicals and paints maker AkzoNobel is in “constructive” talks about a possible merger of its Paints and Coatings business with U.S.-based Axalta.

The two companies issued statements Monday confirming the talks about a possible “merger of equals.”

Philadelphia-based Axalta said the company “will pursue such a transaction only if its Board of Directors determines that it is in the best interest of Axalta to do so. There can be no assurances that a definitive agreement between the parties will be reached or on what terms.”

Earlier this year, AkzoNobel rejected repeated takeover bids by American rival PPG Industries, the last offer worth $28.8 billion, saying they weren’t in the interests of shareholders.

A deal with Axalta would come separately from the Dutch company’s planned separation of its specialty chemicals business, including the return of the vast majority of net proceeds to shareholders. Akzo Nobel said this remains on track for April 2018.