Elliott Advisors launches legal petition to oust AkzoNobel chairman Antony Burgmans

Courtney Goldsmith
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Activist investor Elliott has called for talks between the two paint makers (Source: Getty)

Activist investor Elliott Advisors has launched legal action to oust AkzoNobel chairman Antony Burgmans.

The hedge fund, which has worked to push the Dutch paint giant into takeover talks with US rival PPG, called Akzo's rejection of PPG's third proposal a "flagrant breach of [the] AkzoNobel board's fiduciary duties and of Dutch corporate law, and...an arrogant dismissal of recognised principles of proper corporate governance".

Elliott announced it had filed a petition with Amsterdam's Enterprise Chamber to order an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to vote on the dismissal of Burgmans. Akzo has declined Elliott's previous attempts to request an EGM, which it said would not be in the company's best interests.

A spokesperson for AkzoNobel said: "AkzoNobel has conducted a thorough and extensive process in its evaluation of each proposal from PPG, acting to the highest standards of Dutch Corporate Governance. We do not see how the dismissal of the supervisory board chairman is beneficial to the company, its shareholders or stakeholders in any way."

Yesterday Akzo rejected a third takeover offer from US firm PPG and said it will instead focus on its own strategy to accelerate growth.

US painting giant PPG has made several takeover offers for Akzo, but has been turned down.

Last week Elliott commissioned a study which concluded around 6,400 people will lose their jobs if AkzoNobel continues with its current plans.

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