AkzoNobel said it is reviewing strategic options after rejecting what it says is a $22.08 billion unsolicited and "undervalued" bid from rival PPG for the company's paint, coatings and specialty chemicals business.
AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner said PPG’s proposal "substantially undervalues our company and contains serious risks and uncertainties. The proposal is not in the interest of AkzoNobel’s stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers and employees, and we have unanimously rejected it."
The Dutch finishing materials giant said it would instead consider floating or selling its Specialty Chemicals business, which posted €4.8 billion euros ($5.05 billion) in sales in 2016. Products in the business are used in the construction, industrial and consumer goods segments. Overall, the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based AkzoNobel had total revenues of €14.2 billion (approximately $15.6 billion) in 2016, with Decorative Paints accounting for €3.8 billion and Performance Coatings €5.7 billion, in addition to the numbers posted by the Specialty Chemicals' segment. The company's finishing brands include Chemcraft, Dulux, Sadolin and Sikkens, with Akucell, Broxo and Dissolvine among its chemical brands.
Büchner noted, “Our Specialty Chemicals business is an industry leader in many of the markets in which it operates and we are extremely proud of its heritage, performance and people. We are reviewing strategic options to separate it from the company to create focus for both Specialty Chemicals and the Decorative Paints and Performance Coatings group, allowing them to build further on their respective leadership positions."
A March 9 statement from AkzoNobel reiterated that it did not initiate nor has it encouraged conversations with PPG on this matter. PPG's offer was for the issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of AkzoNobel at a price of €54.00 in cash and 0.3 PPG shares per AkzoNobel share, corresponding to a value of €83.00 per share as of 28 February, 2017.
PPG (NYSE: PPG) also issued a statement March 9 that it "continues to believe there is a strong strategic rationale for the proposed transaction between PPG and AkzoNobel."
“We believe a combination of our two companies is a very compelling strategic opportunity," said Michael McGarry, PPG chairman and CEO. "We are confident that this combination is in the best interests of the stakeholders of both companies as it presents a unique opportunity to build on the successful legacies of our businesses. PPG has carefully considered the interest of all AkzoNobel stakeholders including shareholders, employees, customers and the communities it serves and has proposed its willingness to enter into serious commitments in respect of all stakeholders.”
PPG noted the combined company "would create a stronger competitor in a highly competitive global marketplace, offering a broader line of products and technologies cost-effectively to a more diverse customer base." Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, PPG posted revenues of $14.8 billion in 2016. A global supplier of paints and coatings, aerospace, optical, fiberglass and specialty materials, the company has more than 45,000 employees, and operates more than 150 plants worldwide. Its brands include: Olympic paints and stains, Glidden paints, SICO paints and stains and Liquid Nails adhesives.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.