Elliott leads investors against Akzo Nobel supervisory chair

13 April, 2017, 02:19 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • REUTERS  Toussaint Kluiters  United

Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY) has accused one of its biggest shareholders of planning to share price-sensitive information with rival PPG Industries (PPG) and rejected calls for the dismissal of its chairman amid an increasingly hostile takeover showdown.

Elliott previously disclosed that it owns a 3% stake in Akzo and has pressed the company to engage in deal talks with USA rival PPG Industries Inc. 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. If Akzo stuck to its "inexplicable" refusal, "Elliott intends to use its recourse to the Dutch Courts", the fund manager added.

The offer by PPG that was rejected by Akzo on March 22 was worth over €24 billion. Burgmans is viewed as an opponent to the deal but Elliott has pressed the company to engage with PPG.

It is not clear the rules, if any, that PPG and shareholders may have violated.

A number of Akzo investors want the Dutch company to negotiate with PPG on a possible takeover.

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"AkzoNobel became aware on April 11 that Elliott Advisors meant to privately share potentially price sensitive information with PPG about its decision to request an EGM", the company said.

In a communication seen by Reuters, Gordon Singer of hedge fund Elliot Advisors accidentally included a representative of AkzoNobel (AKZO.AS) in an otherwise internal distribution list on Tuesday.

"It would be preferable from PPG's perspective if AkzoNobel would speak with us rather than about us", PPG said.

The activist investor, which holds a stake of 3.25% in Akzo, has said it would be responding to the allegations made by Akzo soon. The company is expected to provide fresh financial projections and more information about its strategy, including the separation of the specialty-chemicals business, when it delivers first-quarter results on April 19.

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

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