AkzoNobel rejects 3rd PPG Industries takeover bid

Dulux owner Akzo Nobel owner rejects third PPG takeover bid

PPG now has until June 1 to decide if it wants to table a formal bid without the support of Akzo's board, effectively turning the takeover attempt hostile.

The Dutch company has presented a clear strategy to increase shareholder returns for this year, and PPG's proposal does not match such commitments.

PPG CEO Michael McGarry told the FD earlier that should AkzoNobel turn down PPG's "friendly" offer, the USA company would launch a hostile bid.

In a statement, PPG continued to assert that its offer was "vastly superior" to Akzo's plans.Moreover, it lashed out at Akzo management for not really talking over the deal with PPG.

Akzo, the maker of Dulux paint, said it will now focus on its own strategy to accelerate growth and value creation, which includes creating two businesses to enhance profitability: paints and coatings and specialty chemicals. However, PPG has boasted that the offer is 50% higher than the value of Akzo's shares back in March before the first offer was made public.

It recovered slightly, but was still down 2.8 percent to 77.16 euros a share in early afternoon trading. Morgan Stanley said in a note that "we think the shares are likely to fall to mid-70s this morning, as the market adjusts to a lower probability of a successful transaction".

The bid comes just weeks after PPG raised its offer to buy Akzo for the second time.

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Akzo Nobel also plans to sell or list its chemicals business, which accounts for about a third of its sales and profits, within 12 months.

However, Akzo is studying several scenarios about how to move forward, mindful that several of its shareholders want it to engage with PPG in negotiations. Akzo addressed less tangible "stakeholder" interests in more detail in its statement, saying said that PPG had not offered Akzo representatives sufficient representation on PPG's board to safeguard its interests after a potential acquisition.

Although such a request is allowed under Dutch law, Akzo refused, saying it would not be in the company's best interest.

This means that PPG would approach AkzoNobel shareholders - almost 50% are American - directly.

Storming its European takeover target with an all-out $27 billion hostile bid would be too risky for paint group PPG.

The Dutch economic affairs minister has openly opposed an Akzo Nobel takeover amid rising nationalist sentiment in the Netherlands, and some of its Dutch employees are concerned that USA ownership would lead to job losses.


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