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Akzo Nobel’s chief executive has nailed his colours to the mast.
Ton Büchner said the company “was best placed to deliver” a planned restructuring despite signs of displeasure among some of its largest investors after the Dutch paints and chemicals group rejected a revised €22.4bn takeover attempt from PPG Industries earlier this month.
Mr Büchner made no explicit reference to the offers from its US rival in his comments, published as the maker of Dulux paint said it would provide a strategy update on April 19.
But he defended the company’s recent performance and said Akzo Nobel was “delivering on our commitments”.
Following the unanimous rejection of PPG’s offer, several large shareholders have criticised Akzo Nobel’s approach, which comes amid a broader pattern of consolidation in the chemicals sector.
Activist investor Elliott Advisors, a top five shareholder with more than 3 per cent of the stock, said that while the offer price was inadequate, it provided a “credible basis for engagement”.
AkzoNobel, which is planning to sell or float its speciality chemicals business to focus on paints and industrial coatings, said it would “outline plans for the creation of two focused businesses” later this month, without providing further details.
Mr Büchner said:
We have, during recent years, achieved record performance levels for AkzoNobel in terms of profitability and a range of operational measures, generating value for shareholders. We are delivering on our commitments.
Our new strategy will further unlock the value within the company, including the creation of two focused businesses. We are convinced we have a strong platform to build further on our leadership positions to deliver improved profitability and additional long term value creation for shareholders, employees, customers, the communities where we operate and other stakeholders.
We are best placed to deliver these plans ourselves, building on the existing momentum we have within the company.