LONDON (AP) _ Imperial Chemical Industries PLC said Monday it agreed to acquire Grow Group Inc., a New York-based maker of architectural paints and coatings, for $290 million.

The addition of Grow, with expected sales of $500 million in the year ending June 30, will be a big boost for ICI's North American unit, which includes U.S. paint maker Glidden and has yearly sales of around $1 billion.

London-based ICI reached agreement with Grow's biggest shareholder, the Venezuelan industrial conglomerate Corimon, to sell its 25 percent stake for $17.50 per share.

Grow then agreed to a tender offer for the rest of the company's shares, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange, at $18.10 each. In early trading Monday, Grow was up 25 cents at $17.875.

The deal requires approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

By acquiring Grow, ICI gains three California paint companies _ Sinclair Paint Co. of Los Angeles, Ameritone Paint Co. of Long Beach and Zynolyte Products Co. of Carson _ along with Louisville, Ky.-based Devoe & Reynolds Co.

ICI also gets three coatings businesses: Devoe Coatings Co., of Louisville; Grow Group Canada Ltd., of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; and Devoe Coatings BV, of Delft, the Netherlands.

The deal includes Grow's automotive division, which makes thinners, solvents and other specialty coatings in Troy, Mich.

``We believe Grow's valued paint brands and distribution network will complement ours and enhance customer service to our professional-painter and do-it-yourself customers,'' said John R. Danzeisen, president of Glidden Co. and chief executive officer of ICI Paints in North America.