Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Akzo stands by its chairman, continues to rebuff bids from PPG

Akzo stands by its chairman, continues to rebuff bids from PPG

The battle for control of Akzo Nobel NV escalated when Elliott Advisors called for the chairman's ouster, drawing a fiery retort from the Dutch paint maker suggesting the activist shareholder is working with PPG Industries Inc. on its $24 billion takeover offer.

Elliott previously disclosed that it owns a 3% stake in Akzo and has pressed the company to engage in deal talks with USA rival PPG Industries Inc.

According to Akzo, Elliott and other shareholders have requested a meeting to dismiss Mr. Burgmans.

A spokesperson for Akzo said the business strongly supports its chairman, but would respond as required by Dutch law within 14 days to the request made by the group led by Elliott. To the extent that Akzo Nobel refuses to put this item onto the EGM agenda, Elliott intends to use its recourse to the Dutch Courts, including the Enterprise Chamber.

PPG denied it has such an arrangement with Elliott.

After weeks of posturing by both sides, Elliott is ramping up pressure on Chief Executive Officer Ton Buechner a week before he's scheduled to present to investors his own plans to break up the company in a bid to garner support for staying independent.

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"It is only through engagement that Akzo Nobel can determine if PPG is prepared to bid at a level that provides adequate consideration to shareholders".

AzkoNobel, the paints and coating group, claimed that Elliott Advisors was preparing to share potentially price-sensitive information with PPG, the USA rival that is trying to take over Akzo, when calling for an emergency meeting to remove its chairman.

Employing a multi-strategy trading approach, the firm manages approximately United States dollars 32 billion in two funds for a range of investors, including pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm.

PPG has publicly acknowledged meeting with Akzo's top 20 shareholders, one of which is Elliott. Shareholders can vote to remove management and members of the board, but the supervisory board retains the right to nominate their successors.

"We're not taking any options off the table", Mr. McGarry said, adding that a higher offer would hinge on "collaborative, substantive" talks between the companies.

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