Shareholders taking charge at AkzoNobel as takeover battle heats up

Posted April 13, 2017

Elliott Management Corp. has informed Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY.PK,AKZOY) that it plans to call a shareholder meeting to try to oust the chairman of the company's supervisory board, according to reports.

Akzo says it "strongly supports" Chairman Antony Burgmans, while also accusing Elliott of intending to privately share potentially price-sensitive information with PPG about a decision to request an extraordinary meeting.

In its response to the call for the removal of Mr Burgmans, Akzo revealed that it has reported Elliott to the Dutch authority for the financial markets, and called on the hedge fund to "clarify its relationship" with PPG.

"Elliott views Akzo Nobel's position rejecting the agenda item as inexplicable".

A spokesperson for Akzo told Reuters that the company will respond to the investors' request within two weeks, as stipulated by Dutch law.

While PPG acknowledged it met with Elliott as well as other Akzo shareholders in the weeks since Akzo rebuffed two offers to buy it, "There has not been any, and there are now no agreements or arrangements, in whatever form, between PPG and Elliott Advisors", PPG said in a statement.

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His 16-1 rival claimed second, with 25-1 shot Saint Are third and 8-1 favourite Blaklion, who led for much of the contest, fourth. Arthur just cruised that race. "We always thought barring an accident he would be a National victor and it has come true".

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

Akzo has said PPG's 24.6 billion euros ($26 billion) offer is not worth discussing further - a stance which has angered some shareholders who see scope for further talks between the two sides.

PPG said Wednesday that it has "met with more than 100 equity investors, mostly Akzo Nobel shareholders including representatives from Elliott" since PPG's proposal to merge with Akzo became public.

Akzo has said it can generate more value for shareholders on its own.

Elliott and other shareholders have urged the paint maker to engage with PPG, but Azko has said that the offer undervalues the company.

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