There is no rest for Dutch paints company AkzoNobel – not even on a Bank Holiday Monday.
PPG Industries, the US firm attempting an unsolicited and unwelcome takeover of the Dulux maker, has today published an open letter to Akzo’s “stakeholders” telling them: “We will be stronger together.”
The Netherlands-headquartered company rejected two offers from PPG last month, the second valuing it at €22.4bn (£19bn), and has been facing pressure from shareholders, led by activist hedge fund Elliott, to engage in talks with PPG.
Akzo has said the combination would not be in the interest of its “stakeholders, including our shareholders, customers and employees”. There has also been noisy political opposition to the potential for a US takeover.
Akzo will unveil a “strategy update” when it reports its first-quarter results this Wednesday. The company has suggested spinning off its chemicals business.
But in his letter today, PPG chief executive Michael McGarry said: “Based on its own commentary last week, AkzoNobel is only now ‘developing’ a new strategic plan, which we continue to believe will be more risky, create more uncertainty for AkzoNobel employees, leave AkzoNobel with stranded costs from the divestiture, and create less value than our proposal.”
He added: “At PPG, we evaluate all options before making strategic decisions and we regard this as a good governance standard.
“I would submit that it is now time for AkzoNobel’s management and supervisory boards to meet with PPG and finally complete a full review and consideration of the compelling opportunity to combine PPG and AkzoNobel for the benefit of all stakeholders. We will be stronger together.”