In rejecting two offers from PPG, Akzo has said PPG's bids undervalue the company and would result in job losses and intense antitrust issues because of overlaps in the two companies' operations.
It comes as Elliott announced that it has requested an extraordinary general meeting to remove AkzoNobel's chairman, Antony Burgmans. If Akzo stuck to its "inexplicable" refusal, "Elliott intends to use its recourse to the Dutch Courts", the fund manager added. "It's logical PPG and Elliott are moving in the same direction, but the question is whether they are working together".
After weeks of posturing by both sides, Elliott is ramping up pressure on Chief Executive Officer Ton Buechner a week before he's scheduled to present to investors his own plans to break up the company in a bid to garner support for staying independent.
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"PPG has met and communicated with Akzo Nobel's top 20 shareholders; as one of the top 20 shareholders of Akzo Nobel, Elliott has therefore, as a matter of course, met and communicated with PPG".
Private equity firms and smaller companies seeking to team up with buyout firms to make offers will participate in a sale process for the specialty chemicals unit, the sources said.
Some of the shareholders have owned Akzo stock for more than a decade, this person said.
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Akzo said it turned to the Dutch financial regulator after it became aware Tuesday that Elliott meant to share with PPG potentially price-sensitive information about the demand.
While PPG acknowledged it met with Elliott as well as other Akzo shareholders in the weeks since Akzo rebuffed two offers to buy it, "There has not been any, and there are now no agreements or arrangements, in whatever form, between PPG and Elliott Advisors", PPG said in a statement.
The PPG offer that Akzo rejected on 22 March was worth more than 24bn euros.
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The activist investor, which holds a stake of 3.25% in Akzo, has said it would be responding to the allegations made by Akzo soon. Akzo's Dutch corporate structure gives its board wide latitude to control and block takeovers.