AkzoNobel NV (AKZOY) traded lower in Amsterdam Tuesday after an arbitration panel in the Netherlands rejected an attempt by PPG Industries (PPG) to force a shareholder vote to oust its chairman in a move that could potentially end the Pittsburgh-based group's $29 billion takeover pursuit of the Dutch chemicals group.
AkzoNobel shares fell 1.7% by 12:30 in Amsterdam to change hands at a two-week low of €75.07 each, trimming the gain since news of the first PPG approach was revealed on March 8 to 16.2%.
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.