20th March 2019

AKZONOBEL TURNS DOWN PPG OFFER

AkzoNobel has rejected a buyout bid from PPG Industries. The Dutch-owned chemicals company said it is now exploring the possibility of spinning off one of its business units.

The offer, which AkzoNobel says was unsolicited, non-binding and conditional, was worth 54 euros cash, or about C$77, plus 0.3 PPG shares per AkzoNobel share. AkzoNobel says that would make the offer equivalent to 83 euros per share. The deal overall would have been valued at about C$30-billion.

According to the most recent published sales figures, PPG is the largest coatings manufacturer in the world, and AkzoNobel the second-largest. PPG bought AkzoNobel's decorative paints business in 2013 for more than $1-billion. This included the Glidden brand of paint.

“The unsolicited proposal we received from PPG substantially undervalues our company and contains serious risks and uncertainties,” said AkzoNobel CEO Ton Buchner (pictured) in a company statement. “The proposal is not in the interest of AkzoNobel’s stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers and employees, and we have unanimously rejected it.”

PPG responded that it had made an “attractive and comprehensive" offer, and would “carefully evaluate and consider its position and path forward related to its proposal.”

"PPG has long admired AkzoNobel’s businesses, global presence, culture and principles as well as its advances in innovative product development and sustainable business practices,” said PPG chairman and CEO Michael McGarry.  “We believe a combination of our two companies is a very compelling strategic opportunity.”

AzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals portfolio includes polymer chemistry products, ethylene- and sulfur-based products, bleaching and oxidizing chemicals, surface chemistry products and salt-chlorine products, among other materials. Its products are marketed under brands including Akucell, Broxo and Butanox.

The separation of Specialty Chemicals, the company says, would “allow the Specialty Chemicals business to continue to build and accelerate its market-leading positions across a range of market segments.” The Specialty Chemicals business had 4.8-billion euros in revenue in 2016.

“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,” Büchner said.

PPG reported US$14.75-billion in revenue last year. Its Performance Coatings segment accounted for 58 percent of sales; Industrial Coatings accounted for 39 percent, and glass, which the company has been selling off in recent years in order to focus on coatings, accounted for three percent.

www.akzonobel.com