The Elliott and AkzoNobel saga continues: Elliott launches renewed bid to oust AkzoNobel's chairman

Lucy White
Elliott has commissioned advisory firm Georgeson to undertake a review of Akzo's shareholders

Just when it seemed activist investor Elliott Advisors had finally given up on its attempt to have Dutch paint manufacturer AkzoNobel taken over by US rival PPG Industries, a court petition has popped up.

Elliott announced today it had applied for authorisation from the Dutch interim relief court to convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), to vote out Akzo's beleaguered chairman Antony Burgmans.

Burgmans was seen as an obstacle to the €27bn takover offer tabled by PPG, after Akzo rejected three approaches.

Read more: Elliott leads attempt to paint over AkzoNobel's takeover refusal with call to dismiss chairman Antony Burgmans

In April, Akzo stamped out a call by Elliott and other investors for the firm to hold a meeting to vote on the proposed dismissal of Burgmans, in a move which Elliott called an "extraordinary case of shareholder disenfranchisement".

This led to Elliott taking the matter to a Netherlands court, which ruled that there was no compulsion to hold the meeting.

Read more: AkzoNobel triumphs over activist investor Elliott Advisors in Dutch legal battle

But since then, Elliott has commissioned advisory firm Georgeson to undertake a review of Akzo's shareholders.

It had "high participation", according to the firm, with investors corresponding to around one third of the share capital responding.

The survey showed that the "vast majority" were unhappy with Akzo's leadership, while 96 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with conduct around the PPG takeover.

However, Elliott said "chronic underperformance" by Akzo prior to that was also cited as a contributing factor.

Read more: Activist investor Elliott blasts "afraid" AkzoNobel for refusing to hold vote on dismissal of chairman

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