AkzoNobel, one of the world’s leading paints, coatings and chemicals companies announced a review of strategic options for the separation of its Specialty Chemicals business.
The Specialty Chemicals business, which had revenues of €4.8 billion in 2016, is strongly positioned with a broad portfolio of leading technologies and chemicals which service a wide range of end-user segments including construction, industrial and consumer goods. The separation will allow the Specialty Chemicals business to continue to build and accelerate its market-leading positions across a range of market segments.
As part of the separation, AkzoNobel will consider various alternative ownership structures for the Specialty Chemicals business including, but not limited to, the establishment of an independent listed entity . The ultimate structure will be determined by reference to shareholder value maximization as well as broader stakeholder considerations.
This decision was brought forward following confirmation that AkzoNobel has rejected an unsolicited, non-binding and conditional proposal from PPG Industries Inc. for all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of AkzoNobel. PPG’s proposal substantially undervalues AkzoNobel and is not in the interest of its stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers and employees.
Ton Büchner, CEO, AkzoNobel:
“Our Specialty Chemicals business is an industry leader in many of the markets in which it operates and we are extremely proud of its heritage, performance and people. We are reviewing strategic options to separate it from the company to create focus for both Specialty Chemicals and the Decorative Paints and Performance Coatings group, allowing them to build further on their respective leadership positions.
“As stated at our full-year results announcement in February, we are now a leaner, more agile company with a solid financial and operational foundation and a focus on growth. AkzoNobel has enjoyed a record performance in recent years in terms of profitability and has made significant strategic progress, allowing us to take this decision.
“Our decision today was brought forward due to recent events. The unsolicited proposal we received from PPG substantially undervalues our company and contains serious risks and uncertainties. The proposal is not in the interest of AkzoNobel’s stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers and employees, and we have unanimously rejected it. Along with my colleagues on our Boards, our executive team and our thousands of employees, I firmly believe that AkzoNobel is best placed to unlock the value within our company ourselves.
“We understand our role in society and want to protect our ability to continue to invest in communities, research and development, innovation and sustainability in the countries in which we operate.”