AkzoNobel rejects takeover bid by American rival

AkzoNobel rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from American company PPG Industries, the Dutch paint and chemicals company announced on Thursday morning after PPG's bid leaked to the media. According to AkzoNobel, the PPG offer is too low and not in the interest of shareholders, customers or staff, ANP reports.

PPG offered 54 euros in cash and 0.3 PPG shares for each AkzoNobel share. Using the PPG share price on February 28th, the bid amounted to 83 euros per AkzoNobel share. The Dutch company's stock closed at 64.52 euros per share on Wednesday. 

AkzoNobel also announced that it is considering splitting off its Specialty Chemicals department. According to CEO Ton Buchner, the company has been considering this split off for some time, but the announcement was accelerated after PPG's bid. 

Specialty Chemicals had a turnover last year of 4.8 billion euros. The department specializes in chemicals used in products ranging from ice, asphalt, soup to soap. Buchner stressed that this step should be seen as a sign of strength. "We're a top player in the field of paints and specialty chemicals, with a clear strategy. We are now announcing an important step, which we are taking by our own strenght."

Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs said in reaction on Thursday morning that a takeover would not be in the Dutch interest. "AkzoNobel branded the offer from PPG Industries as undesirable and not int he interest of all stakeholders", Kamp said. "This involves long term values, like the contribution AkzoNobel makes to sustainability, the activities in the field of research and development and the quality of employment the company offers in the Netherlands. With that the bid is also not in the Dutch interest."