Akzo Nobel Accuses Elliott Advisors Of Planning To Share 'Price Sensitive Information'

REUTERS  Robin van Lonkhuijsen  United

Akzo Nobel (OTCQX:AKZOF, OTCQX:AKZOY) rejects a call by Elliott Management to remove its chairman, while suggesting Elliott could be working with PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) to engineer a takeover of the company.

A spokesperson for Akzo said the business strongly supports its chairman, but would respond as required by Dutch law within 14 days to the request made by the group led by Elliott.

Elliott countered by saying it would take Akzo to court over any refusal to hold a vote on the activist investor's proposal.

The offer by PPG that was rejected by Akzo on March 22 was worth over €24 billion. Elliott supports the move but has said Akzo should consider a deal for the whole company. The resistance has come amid pressure from some investors to enter into talks, and the CEO repeated calls to shareholders who may be tempted by PPG's sweetened offer to wait until the unveiling of his own growth strategy on April 19.

"Elliott views Akzo Nobel's position rejecting the agenda item as inexplicable". The company, whose market value stands at about $21.1 billion, has said the offers are too low.




Some of the shareholders have owned Akzo stock for more than a decade, this person said.

AzkoNobel, the paints and coating group, claimed that Elliott Advisors was preparing to share potentially price-sensitive information with PPG, the U.S. rival that is trying to take over Akzo, when calling for an emergency meeting to remove its chairman.

"Akzo Nobel is sending a signal that it will use all means to avert the takeover", said Theodoor Gilissen analyst Joost van Beek.

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.

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.

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