Economy

AkzoNobel chairman to step down in wake of pressure from Elliott Advisors

Sikkens paint cans at AkzoNobel Sassenheim production facility.

Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY) will hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting in September to deal with its CEO succession plans and articulate the reasons behind its rejection of a $30 billion approach from PPG Industries (PPG).

"AkzoNobel values its relationship with shareholders and takes its responsibility towards them very seriously", Mr Burgmans said. Only 17% of Akzo shareholders are in the United Kingdom and Ireland with 48% in the US.

Elliott is Akzo's largest shareholder and for several months has tried to broker a €27 billion merger with PPG Industries, an industry rival. The highest bid by the Americans valued the company at €26.3bn.

Burgmans also said he will step down next April.

Mr Vanlancker was brought in last week to replace Ton Büchner, who quit abruptly after a relapse of a stress-related illness.

Akzo also acknowledged the need to improve shareholder relations, saying it had created a new supervisory board committee to this effect, overseen by a team of advisors from JP Morgan Cazenove.

Also on Tuesday, AkzoNobel said its core profit in the second quarter fell 6 % to €461m, due to weak demand in various markets and higher raw material costs.

However, the company, which rejected a multibillion-euro takeover bid by USA rival PPG Industries earlier this year, reiterated its confidence in better full-year results, saying it still expected core earnings for 2017 to be around 100 million euros (£90 million) higher than the previous year.



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