AkzoNobel again stalls move by hostile shareholders

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

AkzoNobel, the Amsterdam-based paints and coatings producer which has been the subject of protracted hostile takeover attempts by its US rival PPG Industries, chalked up another victory in an Amsterdam court room on Thursday evening.

Amsterdam district court rejected a move by Elliott Advisors, AkzoNobel’s biggest shareholder with a 9.5% stake, to dismiss Antony Burgmans, the Dutch group’s supervisory board chairman, the Telegraaf reported on Friday.

Elliott was joined in the case by another dissident shareholder, York Capital Management, which owns 0.6% of Akzo. Elliott, often described as a ‘vulture fund’ claims Burgmans had frustrated attempts for Elliott to meet with AkzoNobel executives. Elliott lost a similar case in Amsterdam company court a month ago.

The judge on Thursday said Elliott’s request was ‘premature’, particularly because AkzoNobel itself has called an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting for 8 September.

PPG Industries made a series of bids for AkzoNobel starting in March. The last valued the Dutch company at €26.9bn. Akzo and Pittsburgh-based PPG are now in a six-month compulsory cooling-off period which expires in December.

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