Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY) said Tuesday that it will update investors on April 19 on the progress of its strategic review that could split the Dutch chemicals group into two "focused businesses" in order to boost shareholder value.
The move comes amid a fierce takeover battle with Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries (PPG - Get Report) , which has made two rejected attempts for the maker of Dulux paints, and harsh criticism from various shareholders, who have urged Akzo CEO Ton Buchner to meet with PPG's Michael McGarry to hammer out a deal.
"We have, during recent years, achieved record performance levels for AkzoNobel in terms of profitability and a range of operational measures, generating value for shareholders," Buchner said in a statement Tuesday. "We are delivering on our commitments. AkzoNobel is now a leaner, more agile company with a solid financial and operational foundation and a focus on accelerating growth."
"Our new strategy will further unlock the value within the company, including the creation of two focused businesses," he added. "We are convinced we have a strong platform to build further on our leadership positions to deliver improved profitability and additional long-term value creation for shareholders, employees, customers, the communities where we operate and other stakeholders."
"We are best placed to deliver these plans ourselves, building on the existing momentum we have within the company," Buchner said.
The move follows a series of pressures placed on Buchner to engage with McGarry, including public criticism from one its largest shareholders, Elliot Management, which owns 3.25% of the equity interest in Akzo Nobel via its U.K. division, according to Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) data.
Last week, Akzo Nobel rejected a second takeover approach that PPG says values the group at $26.3 billion.
Akzo calculated the revised bid on a dividend-adjusted basis of €88.72 per share (€56.22 in cash and 0.331 PPG shares) and said it does not "reflect the current and future value of AkzoNobel" and also "neglects to address the significant uncertainties and risks for shareholders and other stakeholders".
Akzo also said the revised offer fails to reflect the value creating opportunities of the new strategic plan focus for both the Specialty Chemicals and the Paints and Coatings businesses.
PPG calculated the revised bid without adjusting for a 2017 dividend (€57.5 in cash and 0.331 PPG shares), with a source telling TheStreet that this is a closer representation of the ultimate value of the offer.
Akzo shares drifted 0.2% lower in Amsterdam Tuesday to change hands at €78.19 each by 11:00 CET, trimming its gain since PPG's first approach on March 9 to just over 21.5%.