Activist investor Elliott has laid out another public challenge to AkzoNobel after the Dutch maker of Dulux “cancelled a recent meeting... at short notice”.
Elliott, Akzo’s largest shareholder, has asked for confirmation of the date when shareholders will be asked to vote on the appointment of the nominated new chief executive, Thierry Vanlancker. Ton Buchner stood down last week for health reasons.
The activist, which was enraged by Akzo’s handling of a takeover approach from US rival PPG this year, has also called for the firm to clarify a series of issues in its earnings announcement tomorrow.
Elliott accused Akzo of failing to engage properly and revealed the firm had cancelled a meeting at short notice.
The investor wants clarification on when the general meeting to vote on the new chief executive will be and confirmation that shareholders will be able to add resolutions to the agenda.
Elliott said in a statement:
Any attempts by AkzoNobel to circumvent the requirements of its constitutive documents (e.g., by delaying the vote on the nominated CEO’s appointment; by preventing shareholders from adding items to the EGM agenda, etc.) would exacerbate the crisis of confidence between Akzo Nobel and its shareholders, further impairing the company’s relationship with its shareholders, which the enterprise chamber explicitly instructed AkzoNobel to repair.
The investor wants Akzo to clarify tomorrow whether Vanlancker would push ahead with plans to spin-off the speciality chemicals, retain 2020 targets, “which are not considered credible by the market”, and tie the management team’s pay to these targets.
Elliott also wants to know how he would seek to increase the value of the firm to meet its valuation under PPG’s last takeover offer.