Akzo Nobel increases share dividend

Chemicals firm Akzo Nobel is to pay shareholders a dividend of at least 45% of its profit in the coming years rather than the 35% to 40% it has paid until now, reports ANP news service on Monday. This means the dividend for 2007 will go up to €0.40 per share from €0.30.

Akzo Nobel has also announced it is to start a share buy-back next year and expects to spend €2bn on this operation in 2008 and 2009. In addition, it will pay shareholders €1bn from its reserves.
At a press conference in London on Monday the company gave more details about its €11.8bn takeover of British rival ICI. The deal is expected to give Akzo Nobel a cost advantage of €2.5bn.
The takeover is expected to be approved by Akzo Nobel shareholders on November 5. On Monday the company said British hedge fund Centaurus, one of its five biggest shareholders, is to support the takeover.
The deal is believed to be the biggest ever takeover by a Dutch company.
Akzo Nobel’s share price rose 1.4% to €60.79 in the first hour of trading on the Amsterdam stock exchange on Monday morning.

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