PPG Makes 3rd Offer for Its Paint Rival Akzo Nobel

PPG Makes 3rd Offer for Its Paint Rival Akzo Nobel

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PPG’s chief executive, Michael McGarry, and chief financial officer, Vincent J. Morales, last month in Amsterdam, where Akzo Nobel is based.

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Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

LONDON — PPG Industries, an American paint and chemicals giant, again raised its takeover bid for Akzo Nobel, the Dutch maker of Dulux paint, on Monday, hoping to persuade its rival’s management to engage in merger talks.

Akzo Nobel, which also makes Eka bleaching solutions and Interpon powder coatings, has rejected two previous offers, arguing that they undervalued the company. It has so far declined to engage in further talks, saying PPG has done little to address its concerns about potential antitrust issues that could derail a merger.

The new offer by PPG — its “one last invitation,” it said — comes as Elliott Management, the American hedge fund founded by the billionaire Paul E. Singer, and other shareholders are pressuring Akzo Nobel to take part in takeover talks.

Elliott is leading a group of shareholders seeking a special meeting to replace Akzo Nobel’s chairman, Antony Burgmans. Akzo Nobel, which is formally reviewing their request, has said that removing Mr. Burgmans would be “irresponsible, disproportionate, damaging,” and said it would reject the plan.

PPG’s latest offer would value Akzo Nobel at 24.6 billion euros, or about $26.4 billion, the American company said.

“We are extending this one last invitation to you and the Akzo Nobel boards to reconsider your stance and to engage with us,” Michael McGarry, the PPG chairman and chief executive, said in a letter to Akzo Nobel’s directors and management on Monday.

Akzo Nobel said on Monday that it would “carefully review and consider this proposal.”

PPG’s initial takeover bid was made as politicians and others in the Netherlands were expressing increasing concern about foreign buyers acquiring Dutch companies. Such takeovers became a prominent issue in elections there last month.

In February, Kraft Heinz briefly flirted with buying Unilever, the British-Dutch maker of Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, but it quickly abandoned its approach amid a public backlash.

Akzo Nobel, based in Amsterdam, is one of the world’s largest makers of paints and coatings, employing 45,000 people in about 80 countries. It reported revenue of €14.2 billion last year.

Since the PPG approach last month, Akzo Nobel has focused on reviewing its plans as a stand-alone company, including bringing forward a potential spinoff of its specialty chemicals arm, which had €4.8 billion in revenue last year.

As part of a strategy update last week, the company said it would return as much as €1.6 billion to investors through dividends, and it increased its financial guidance for 2020. It also said it would seek to spin off the specialty chemicals business within 12 months.

PPG, which is based in Pittsburgh and owns the Glidden, Olympic and Pittsburgh Paints brands, said that its latest cash-and-share offer was worth €96.75 a share, including a final dividend to Akzo Nobel shareholders. This represented a 50 percent premium on Akzo Nobel’s closing share price before the initial offer was made public on March 9, it said.

Shares of Akzo Nobel rose 4 percent in midday trading in Amsterdam on Monday.

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