THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — 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 in a statement that 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.