The chairman of Dutch paint-maker Akzo Nobel has told shareholders the company is not yet ready to respond to a third takeover proposal by PPG Industries, after the U.S. rival raised its offer by 8 percent to 26.9 billion euros. Ivor Bennett reports.
It's a company that clearly likes to make bold statements. but in this case, paint maker Akzo Nobel's palette is unusually muted. Addressing the Dutch company's AGM through an interpreter, chairman Antony Burgmans said they were not yet ready to discuss the new and improved takeover offer from US rival PPG. SOUNDBITE (English) ANTONY BURGMANS, CHAIRMAN, AKZO NOBEL, SAYING: "As you will understand, such an analysis takes time. And as long as we're engaging in this study and consideration, we will not comment on the bid any further." At 26.9 billion euros, the offer is 8 percent higher than PPG's previous bids. It's the third time they've made an approach and they say it will be the last. Now there's a phrase about watching paint dry, but analysts say this saga is anything but boring. SOUNDBITE (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "It's been a bit of a long running battle and one that's taken place slightly in the background for many investors. But I think it's very interesting to watch the fate of this key firm. but they seem to be getting away with it for the time being. I think the Europeans would far rather see them continue as an independent firm." One of those voicing that opinion is Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp. Who's said it'd be good for the Dutch economy if the deal didn't happen. But there's a sizable number of shareholders who'd prefer if it did. A group representing 10 percent of the company's shares, said Akzo should at least open exploratory talks with PPG. But their request for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the offer was rejected. And brandished by management as "irresponsible, disproportionate, damaging and not in the best interests of the Company."