AkzoNobel to unveil corporate strategy

AkzoNobel is expected to outline its strategic plan today, when chief executive Ton Buchner will have to convince shareholders that his vision is a better option than accepting the latest PPG takeover bid.

PPG’s latest bid is £20.9bn, but AkzoNobel says that undervalues the company and instead will split its chemical arm off from its main business.

However, some AkzoNobel shareholders have criticised the decision not to meet PPG, with Templeton Global Equity Group, part of Franklin Templeton, which owns a 3.9% stake, saying, ‘We have been disappointed by the board’s unwillingness to have any dialogue with PPG and its failure to respond satisfactorily to our concerns.’

Adding to the conflict within the company, AkzoNobel then received and rejected calls from shareholder Elliott Advisors to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to vote on the future of company chairman Antony Burgmans.

AkzoNobel said removing its chairman would be ‘irresponsible, disproportionate, damaging and not in the best interest of the company, its shareholders and other stakeholders,’ going on to say that it had become aware that Elliott planned to share potentially price sensitive information with PPG.

Elliott said it and 20 other shareholders had met with PPG but was aware of its regulatory obligations.

Meanwhile, PPG chief executive Michael McGarry said, ‘At PPG, we evaluate all options before making strategic decisions and we regard this as a good governance standard.

‘I would submit that it is now time for AkzoNobel’s management and supervisory boards to meet with PPG and finally complete a full review and consideration of the compelling opportunity to combine PPG and AkzoNobel for the benefit of all stakeholders. We will be stronger together.’

AkzoNobel will also announce its quarter-one results today.