Wednesday 18 September 2019

Shareholders taking charge at AkzoNobel as takeover battle heats up

The battle for Amsterdam-based AkzoNobel is getting vicious, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.

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.

Elliot holds 3.25% of Akzo shares but claims to represent shareholders with more than 10% of the stock. Akzo is locked in a battle with US-based PPG Industries which has made two hostile offers – the latest valuing the Dutch company at €23bn – and says it will not go away.

AkzoNobel reacted angrily to Elliott’s proposal on Wednesday, saying in a statement ‘the removal of Burgmans would be irresponsible, disproportionate, damaging and not in the best interest of the company, its shareholders and other stakeholders’.

AkzoNobel chairman Ton Büchner is planning to hive off the company’s chemicals division, worth about €9bn, to concentrate on core paints and coatings operations.

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