El­liot Ad­vi­sors launches le­gal ac­tion to oust Akzo chair­man

New Straits Times - - Business -

AM­S­TER­DAM: El­liott Ad­vi­sors, the hedge fund that has been push­ing Dutch paint maker Akzo No­bel to en­ter takeover talks with United States peer PPG In­dus­tries, said yes­ter­day it had launched le­gal ac­tion to try to oust Akzo chair­man Antony Burgmans.

In an open let­ter, the fund said Akzo’s re­jec­tion of PPG’s third takeover pro­posal, worth €26.3 bil­lion (RM124 bil­lion) was “a fla­grant breach of Akzo No­bel’s Boards’ fidu­ciary du­ties and of Dutch cor­po­rate law, and... an ar­ro­gant dis­missal of recog­nised prin­ci­ples of proper cor­po­rate gover­nance.”

Akzo’s boards pre­fer their own plan to avoid a PPG takeover by is­su­ing ex­tra div­i­dends and sell­ing or float­ing Akzo’s chem­i­cals divi­sion, rep­re­sent­ing about a third of profit.

An­a­lysts say Akzo’s plan is not as at­trac­tive for share­hold­ers as PPG’s €96.75 per share of­fer. Akzo shares were trad­ing 0.1 per cent higher at €76.88 yes­ter­day.

El­liott said it had filed a suit with Am­s­ter­dam’s En­ter­prise Cham­ber pe­ti­tion­ing judges to or­der an ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing of share­hold­ers to de­bate Burgmans’ dis­missal.

. El­liott holds a 3.25 per­cent stake in Akzo. Reuters

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