ICI, the chemicals company that was once a giant of British industry, has agreed to be taken over by its Dutch rival Akzo Nobel.
The deal will mean that Akzo owns Crown and Dulux paints
The agreed price is 670p per share, which values ICI at £8bn ($16.2bn).
ICI employs about 26,000 staff worldwide and has UK bases in Slough, Birmingham, Hull, Stowmarket in Suffolk and Prudhoe in Northumberland.
Akzo chief Hans Wijers said he expected to cut jobs, but would not know how many until the deal was completed.
Akzo first approached ICI in June with an offer of 600p a share but was rebuffed, and a second offer in July of 650p a share was also rejected.
However, ICI agreed to open its books to Akzo last week after the offer was raised to 670p plus a dividend of up to 5p per share.
The takeover will have to be cleared by regulators, who may be concerned that owning Crown and Dulux will give Akzo too much of the UK paint market.
When the ICI purchase is completed, Akzo is to sell ICI's adhesives and electronic materials unit to Germany's Henkel for £2.7bn.
ICI was formed in 1926 by the combination of four British chemicals companies.
In 1984 it became the first British company to report profits before tax of £1bn.
But in 1993 it began slimming down by spinning off its pharmaceuticals business as Zeneca, which later became AstraZeneca.
Products developed by ICI over the years include polythene - the world's first plastic - and Paludrine, which was the first synthetic treatment for Malaria.