Akzo Nobel shareholders approve split of specialty chemicals business

Akzo Nobel N.V. announced that its shareholders, at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on November 30, 2017, have approved the separation of its Specialty Chemicals business, which is valued at EUR 10 billion (USD 11.8 billion), as part of a strategy to create two focused, high performing businesses: Paints and Coatings and Specialty Chemicals.

Earlier, the Dutch company rejected a takeover bid valued at EUR 26 billion (USD 30.8 billion) from U.S.-based PPG Industries.

The shareholder approval enables Akzo Nobel to separate its Specialty Chemicals business through a private sale or legal demerger.

“The dual-track process ensures the appropriate flexibility necessary to obtain an optimal result for shareholders and other stakeholders as well as the certainty of execution,” the company said.

The appointment of new Chief Financial Officer Maarten de Vries as a member of the Board of Management, effective January 1, 2018 was also approved, in addition to the appointment of three new members to the Akzo Nobel supervisory board: Sue Clark, Patrick Thomas, and Michiel Jaski.

Akzo Nobel said it intends to return the vast majority of the net proceeds from the separation of its Specialty Chemicals business to its shareholders – starting with advance proceeds of EUR 1 billion (USD 1.18 billion) through a special cash dividend. The special dividend will be paid on December 7, 2017.

Akzo Nobel expects the separation of its Specialty Chemicals business, which has annual revenues of EUR 4.8 billion (USD 5.7 billion) and more than 9,000 employees worldwide, to be completed in April 2018.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the transformation of Akzo Nobel into two focused high performing businesses, which remains on track for April 2018,” said Akzo Nobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker. He said the sale of its Specialty Chemicals business was “essential” for the future growth of Akzo Nobel.

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