PPG launches third takeover bid for Dulux maker AkzoNobel

The potential tie-up is now valued at 26.9 billion euro

The potential tie-up is now valued at 26.9 billion euro

USA paint maker PPG Industries Inc (NYSE:PPG) has increased its takeover bid for Akzo Nobel to €26.9bn a day before the Dutch target - which has declined two previous approaches from PPG - faces shareholders at its annual meeting.

On Monday, Akzo confirmed receipt of the "third unsolicited" bid from PPG and said that it is reviewing the offer "in accordance with its fiduciary duties". In response to PPG's previous offer, Akzo said last week that it had boosted its dividend payouts to shareholders and set a timeline for the separation of its specialty-chemicals division as it looked to create value. Shares in Akzo, the maker of Dulux paint, jumped as much as 6 percent to a record high of 82.95 euros following the improved proposal.

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PPG's new cash and share offer is an increase on its previous proposal pitched at around €24.6bn and comes as Akzo's shareholders, led by activist hedge fund firm Elliott Advisors, have called on the firm to at least open exploratory talks with PPG. It has until June 1 to launch a public takeover offer for Akzo.

'Our revised proposal represents a second substantial increase in price along with significant and highly specific commitments that we are confident Akzo Nobel's stakeholders will find compelling'.

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Last week, the Amsterdam-based company unveiled plans to spin off its specialist chemicals division either via a sale or a separate listing within the next 12 months, hoping to calm rumblings among shareholders discontent with the rejection of PPG.

He said PPG believed the deal would add to its earnings from the first year and given the support from Akzo shareholders, the US firm would submit a formal offer to the Dutch financial markets regulator by June 1, regardless of what Akzo does. The latest proposal, announced Monday, is for 96.75 euros, representing a 50% premium to Akzo's undisturbed share price.

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Both moves, if completed, would make Akzo a less attractive target for PPG, although the Pittsburgh-based company has said the primary reason for the merger would be synergies of $750 million between the companies' paints and coatings businesses.

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