Akzo Nobel Paints Itself in Corner in Elliott Fight

Reuters

Not just any email, but one in which Elliott's team discussed tactics after privately informing Akzo it and other investors would seek to convene a meeting of Akzo shareholders to discuss the dismissal of Chairman Antony Burgmans due to his opposition to takeover talks with PPG Industries (PPG.N).

AkzoNobel said on Wednesday that it has reported Elliott to the Dutch financial regulators after it became aware that it meant to privately share potentially price sensitive information with PPG about its decision to request an EGM. Elliott, Akzo Nobel, and PPG did not respond to requests for comment.

While Akzo is due to hold its regular annual general meeting on April 25, an extraordinary general meeting would allow shareholders to remove Akzo supervisory board and management board members.

While PPG acknowledged it met with Elliott as well as other Akzo shareholders in the weeks since Akzo rebuffed two offers to buy it, "There has not been any, and there are now no agreements or arrangements, in whatever form, between PPG and Elliott Advisors", PPG said in a statement.

Elliot Investors has called for the removal of Antony Burgmans following the refusal of the Dutch firm to enter into negotiations with PPG Industries a rival US paint maker related to a takeover bid of $24 billion.

Employing a multi-strategy trading approach, the firm manages approximately Dollars 32 billion in two funds for a range of investors, including pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm. "Elliott has therefore, as a matter of course, met and communicated with PPG", the investment firm said.

The Pittsburgh-based company added that "there are now no agreements or arrangements, in whatever form, between PPG and Elliott Advisors".


It has also has accused Elliott Advisors of sharing "price sensitive information" with PPG as part of its response to the activist investor.

Akzo has said it can generate more value for shareholders on its own.

It wasn't clear if Elliott's move would succeed even if the hedge fund could muster enough votes.

PPG, whose paint brands include Pittsburgh Paints and Glidden, is seeking a tie-up with Akzo a year after rival Sherwin-Williams Co. agreed to buy Valspar Corp. for more than $9 billion.

However Akzo CEO Ton Buechner has argued his plan is better for "all stakeholders" including employees, customers, and the environment.

"We're not taking any options off the table", Mr. McGarry said, adding that a higher offer would hinge on "collaborative, substantive" talks between the companies.

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