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Business

AkzoNobel, shareholder sign temporary truce

by Melody M. Bomgardner
August 20, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 33

Dutch paint and chemicals maker AkzoNobel has reached a short-term truce in its feud with the activist investment fund Elliott Advisors. Both firms agree that AkzoNobel should move ahead with plans to spin off its specialty chemical business. Elliott is AkzoNobel’s largest shareholder. Starting in April, the fund pressed AkzoNobel to agree to a takeover by the paint company PPG Industries. When AkzoNobel refused, Elliott sued for the right to dismiss the firm’s chair, Antony Burgmans. The three-month truce will head off further litigation. It includes the nomination of three new board members supported by both companies, one of whom is Patrick Thomas, CEO of Covestro, the former material science business of Bayer. In addition, Elliott will support the appointment of AkzoNobel’s new CEO, Thierry Vanlancker, to the company’s management board. PPG can make another acquisition bid once a six-month cooling-off period has ended in December.

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