Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel on Monday rejected a third takeover proposal from PPG Industries, leaving its larger US rival to decide whether to make a formal bid without the support of Akzo's board, or throw in the towel.
AkzoNobel said it rejected the latest offer after "considerable in-depth analysis" including talks with PPG's CEO, Michael McGarry.
PPG's latest offer in cash and shares values Akzo's stock at about 96.75 euros per share, or a 50 percent premium to the price before PPG's interest became known on March 9.
PPG framed their third offer as their final "friendly" bid for AkzoNobel, raising fears that a hostile takeover may now be pursued.
In a conference call on May 8, Büchner told reporters that the company already had bankers lined up and project teams in place working on the separation of the chemicals business.
The company said it has concluded that its own strategy, presented on 19 April, offers a superior route to growth and long-term value creation and is in the best interests of shareholders and all other stakeholders.
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"The PPG proposal undervalues AkzoNobel, contains significant risks and uncertainties, makes no substantive commitments to stakeholders and demonstrates a lack of cultural understanding", Ton Buchner, CEO of AkzoNobel, added.
Akzo Nobel has the backing of the Dutch government to resist PPG, however, the rejection of the takeover will inevitably anger some shareholders, including activist investor Elliott Advisors. PPG has said it has no plans to break up Akzo following an acquisition.
Storming its European takeover target with an all-out $27 billion hostile bid would be too risky for paint group PPG. Such a move exposes the company to the possibility that PPG will take the offer directly to shareholders. No timeline has been set for Akzo's response to PPG.
Elliott Advisors, which holds a 3.25 percent stake, had joined with other institutional investors representing more than a 10 percent stake to convene an extraordinary shareholders' meeting to debate the dismissal of Chairman Antony Burgmans over the company's refusal to enter talks.
Considering the above factors, AkzoNobel has revealed that the PPG's proposal is not in the best interests of the company, its shareholders and all other stakeholders.