Amsterdam Court Rejects PPG’s Attempt to Force Vote on AkzoNobel Chairman

An arbitration panel in the Netherlands has ruled in favor of AkzoNobel NV (AKZOY) as it attempts to fend-off a $29 billion takeover approach from PPG Industries (PPG) .

PPG had sought to have the Enterprise Chamber, a division of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal that handles corporate proceedings, launch an investigation into board mismanagement at AkzoNobel and force a shareholder vote to oust Chairman Antony Burgmans for failing to engage in talks with PPG despite numerous takeover attempts.

“PPG remains willing to meet with AkzoNobel regarding a potential combination of the two companies, but without productive engagement, PPG will assess and decide whether or not to pursue an offer for AkzoNobel,” the company said in a statement late Monday. “PPG will make further announcements if and when it is appropriate.”

Pittsburgh-based PPG has until June 1 to make a formal bid for AkzoNobel or walk away for at least six months.

AkzoNobel, for its part, has turned away three separate approaches from PPG, favoring instead its own strategic review, which it says is a “superior route to growth and long-term value creation.” Those plans include splitting the paints and coatings business from its specialty chemicals group within 12 months and returning the majority of sale proceeds to shareholders.

Akzo has rejected Elliott’s request for an extraordinary general meeting in April, saying that under Dutch law that only shareholders representing at least 10% of issued share capital can request a general meeting, and the meeting must meet standards of reasonableness and fairness and a “legitimate interest” test.

Akzo Nobel shares closed 0.21% higher at €76.37 each in Amsterdam on Monday but has gained around 19% since news of the first PPG approach was revealed on March 8, with the company now having a market value of just over €19.2 billion ($21 billion).

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