The chief executive of Dulux maker AkzoNobel has played down tensions with shareholders over the Dutch paint firm’s refusal to engage in takeover talks with US rival PPG Industries.
Ton Buchner told a Dutch newspaper that some investors have said he has done a “good job” in his handling of the takeover approach.
Others, led by activist investor Elliott Advisors, have condemned the board’s approach and urged them to at least speak to PPG Industries.
“We are very close to our investors,” Buchner told Het Financieele Dagblad. “Some say you have so far done a good job.”
He said others have praised AkzoNobel’s plans to spin off its chemical business, while acknowledging that others cannot recognise why it is refusing to talk to PPG.
AkzoNobel rejected two takeover approaches from PPG last month. When the second, €88.72-per-share offer, was rejected, Elliott blasted the firm for its “failure to engage” with PPG. The hedge fund believed the offer was not sufficient but could not comprehend AkzoNobel’s decision not to talk to PPG.