Akzo Nobel Paints Itself in Corner in Elliott Fight

Posted April 13, 2017

Elliot Investors has called for the removal of Antony Burgmans following the refusal of the Dutch firm to enter into negotiations with PPG Industries a rival US paint maker related to a takeover bid of $24 billion.

Singer was referencing the hedge fund's attack plan after calling for a special meeting to oust the Dutch-based painting and specialty chemicals company's chairman, Antony Burgmans. The Financial Times reports that while Akzo has said it will consider the proposal for an EGM, the company has asserted it is "strongly" behind its chairman. "It's logical PPG and Elliott are moving in the same direction, but the question is whether they are working together".

Elliott is hoping the move will add to pressure on Akzo (akzoy) to negotiate a potential sale to USA coatings manufacturer PPG Industries (ppg).

It is not clear the rules, if any, that PPG and shareholders may have violated. Elliott, Akzo Nobel, and PPG did not respond to requests for comment.

"Akzo Nobel is sending a signal that it will use all means to avert the takeover", said Theodoor Gilissen analyst Joost van Beek.

Akzo shareholders must hold in total at least 10% of the company's issued stock to be able to convene an extraordinary general meeting, which would then take a few weeks to organize.

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It has also reported Elliott to the regulators, saying it became aware yesterday of Elliott's intention to "privately share potentially price sensitive information with PPG" about its decision to request an EGM.

AkzoNobel has said that it is not engaging because it feels the offers undervalue the company, and that a deal would raise complex antitrust concerns.

PPG is waiting for Akzo to come under more shareholder pressure before making a new acquisition offer, one of the sources said.

Perhaps having noticed the footnote to the email, Akzo also filed a complaint with the Dutch financial markets authority AFM, alleging PPG and Elliott may have engaged in improper sharing of sensitive information.

PPG Chief Executive Michael McGarry said last week that the company isn't ruling out a sweetened offer or a hostile bid for Akzo.