Dulux parent AkzoNobel rejects call for removal of chairman

Lucy Hill
April 13, 2017

The private investment firm and Akzo have been at odds since Akzo - in which Elliott owns a 3% stake - rejected two takeover bids from U.S. chemicals manufacturer PPG Industries, saying they undervalued the company.

Elliott hopes to add to pressure on Akzo to negotiate a potential sale to US coatings manufacturer PPG Industries Inc PPG.N , after Akzo rejected a sweetened 22.4 billion euro ($24 billion) cash-and-stock offer from PPG last month.

Ahead of AkzoNobel's annual shareholders' meeting on 19 April when the paints and coatings group is to present its strategy for the future, vulture venture capitalist Elliott Advisors is calling for supervisory board chairman Antony Burgmans to be ousted.

A spokesperson for Akzo told Reuters that the company will respond to the investors' request within two weeks, as stipulated by Dutch law. If Akzo stuck to its "inexplicable" refusal, "Elliott intends to use its recourse to the Dutch Courts", the fund manager added.

Akzo Nobel's director of investor relations Lloyd Midwinter was mistakenly included as one of the addressees.

Elliott is hoping the move will add to pressure on Akzo (akzoy) to negotiate a potential sale to US coatings manufacturer PPG Industries (ppg).

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Elliott had earlier threatened to call a shareholder meeting if it found Akzo wasn't "responsive to the desires of its shareholder base" with respect to the PPG offer.

Pittsburgh-based PPG says that is not true and Akzo should enter talks to better understand the benefits that would flow to those stakeholders from its own proposal. The company, whose market value stands at about $21.1 billion, has said the offers are too low.

Neither Elliott nor PPG has access to non-public information about Akzo, said Leslie McGibbon, a spokesman for the Dutch paint maker.

In the wake of PPG's initial offer, Akzo - whose brands include Dulux, Sikkens, Interpon and Eka - has said it plans to separate its specialty-chemicals division.

Meanwhile, the company has reported Elliot and PPG to Dutch regulators for possibly sharing potentially "sensitive" information with PPG regarding support for an extraordinary meeting.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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