US takeovers in Europe hit record levels despite Dulux owner brushing off £18bn approach from PPG Industries

William Turvill
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Akzo Nobel is behind brands such as Dulux and GripPro (Source: Akzo Nobel)

US takeovers in Europe are heading for record levels this year, despite Akzo Nobel, the Dutch paints and coatings maker behind Dulux, rejected a €21bn (£18bn) from rival PPG Industries.

Some 205 US-Europe deals have been agreed so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters. While the number is down on 263 agreed last year, the total value, $50.1bn (£41.2bn), is the highest at this stage of the year since records began in 1990.

Akzo Nobel said on Thursday that it had rejected an unsolicited offer from PPG, saying it would instead seek to “unlock value” by spinning off its chemicals business.

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Chief executive Ton Buchner said: “The unsolicited proposal we received from PPG substantially undervalues our company and contains serious risks and uncertainties.

“The proposal is not in the interest of Akzo Nobel’s stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers and employees, and we have unanimously rejected it.

“Along with my colleagues on our boards, our executive team and our thousands of employees, I firmly believe that Akzo Nobel is best placed to unlock the value within our company ourselves.”

Elsewhere, the chief executive of Germany’s Linde yesterday provided an update on his company’s merger with fellow chemicals company Praxair, which is based in the US.

Read more: This isn’t an M&A bubble: It’s the start of an unprecedented boom

“I am sure you will understand that developing, negotiating and documenting the details of such a complex merger naturally takes time,” Linde’s Aldo Belloni told a shareholder association in a letter seen by Reuters this week.

“Speaking from experience with other (often less complicated) mergers, we foresee the whole process taking several months.”

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