AkzoNobel shareholders join forces to demand execs entertain PPG takeover talks

Oliver Gill
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US rival PPG has tabled two takeover bids for AkzoNobel at €88 and €90 per share (Source: Azko Nobel)

Pressure is mounting on the board of AkzoNobel after six institutional backers joined activist investor Elliott in calling for the firm to engage in takeover talks with US rival PPG Industries.

Two approaches have already been dismissed by the Dulux-owner's board without being put to shareholders.

Earlier this week, Elliott urged the Dutch paintmaker to get round the table with PPG, following takeover offers of €88 and €90 per share.

Read more: Activist investor puts pressure on Dulux owner to engage with US company

On Wednesday evening asset manager Columbia Threadneedle voiced its concerns.

“We see strong logic in a combination of Akzo Nobel and PPG and the potential benefits this offers all stakeholders. Akzo needs to recognise this and engage.” said European equities fund manager David Dudding.

And today Causeway Capital, a near seven per cent shareholder, said the latest offer was “at a level where management should now engage in discussions", adding a tie-up "would create a stronger company".

Franklin Templeton, Henderson, Harris Associates and Southeastern Concentrated Value have all also subsequently called on AkzoNobel to meet with PPG.

Read more: Elliott Advisors bounces back into the black in Britain

Elliott, meanwhile, piled further pressure onto AkzoNobel's chief executive Ton Buchner by letting him know that PPG counterpart Michael McGarry was in the Netherlands.

A spokesperson for Elliott said: "This would be an ideal opportunity for Mr. Buchner to explain the specific elements of shareholder and stakeholder value that he views as prerequisites for a friendly transaction, if any, between PPG and Akzo Nobel.

This failure to engage is made all the more disappointing by the clear message emanating from Akzo Nobel’s shareholder base.

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