AkzoNobel takeover battle moves to Dutch company court

Sikkens paint cans at AkzoNobel Sassenheim production facility. Photo: AkzoNobel

Dutch paints maker AkzoNobel will be centre stage at the company court in Amsterdam on Monday as venture capital firm Elliott Capital, a large Akzo shareholder, seeks to remove Antony Burgmans as its supervisory board chairman.

Monday’s court case is the latest in a series of attempts by AkzoNobel’s US rival PPG Industries to acquire the Dutch firm. And time is running out for PPG. The US company must submit a formal bid to Dutch regulators by 1 June or drop out.

PPG claims that Burgmans was instrumental in AkzoNobel’s continued refusal to discuss the offer. PPG has made three bids for AkzoNobel since early March, the latest for €26.9bn.

The Financieele Dagblad on Monday said the key issue at companies court will be whether AkzoNobel can get its way in rejecting PPG’s overtures. The unsolicited bid, the paper says, is attractive to shareholders but not to AkzoNobel executives.

Essentially, AkzoNobel is presenting itself as an untouchable Dutch national treasure; PPG says it is anything but that.

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