Elliott is again seeking to remove the chairman of AkzoNobel NV (AKZOY) , the activist investor said Friday, and will push for an extraordinary general meeting through an interim relief court lawsuit.
Elliott Advisors (UK), the British subsidiary of Elliott Management and owner of a 9.5% stake in AkzoNobel, said it has filed a joint petition with to the Interim Relief Court to "compel Akzo Nobel to provide its shareholders with a democratic forum in which Akzo Nobel's Management and Supervisory Board can be called to account and shareholders can express their views about Akzo Nobel and its leadership."
Elliott cited a lack of shareholder confidence in the Dutch paintmaker's leadership after pressing the company in the spring through Pittsburg-based PPG Industries (PPG - Get Report) three takeover approaches.
AkzoNobel shares were trading marginally higher Friday morning in Amsterdam, they were marked 0.23% higher to change hands at €77.61 at 9:45 CET.
AkzoNobel 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.
PPG dropped its last $29 billion bid in June.
Elliott came out strongly against the Dutch company's refusal to pursue a tie-up with PPG. AkzoNobel 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.
A survey by proxy advisory firm Georgeson done for Elliott found that vast majority of shareholder respondents are dissatisfied with the leadership of Akzo Nobel and all respondents who answered the question would like an EGM to be held. This is particularly due to the way in which the PPG approach was handled, Elliott said Friday.
"Elliott finds Chairman Burgmans' views on shareholder democracy to be archaic and wholly unacceptable in today's capital markets," the investor said Friday. "A board which holds itself accountable to no one is not an appropriate governance paradigm. If shareholders are not able to regulate the conduct of Akzo Nobel's Boards, who can?"