Akzo Nobel AKZO.AS , the Dutch paint-maker struggling to avoid a 24.6 billion euro (20.58 billion pounds) takeover by USA rival PPG Industries Inc PPG.N , on Wednesday reported better than expected operating profit for the first quarter.
Recent developments in the back and forth between the two companies have taken a more hostile tone, with PPG CEO Michael McGarry this week appealing directly to Akzo Nobel shareholders with his rationale for the deal.
PPG has outlined $750 million in cost savings from a combination with Akzo Nobel at a time when prices for raw materials including the widely used TiO2 white pigment are on the increase.
Elliott, which has a 3.25 percent stake in Akzo and has been critical of the company management, kept up the pressure.
The move didn't seem to win over other investors either, with only one of the five shareholders who had called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) understood to be pleased with the offer.
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Akzo, which employs around 3300 people in the United Kingdom, argued that the hostile bid contains "serious risks and uncertainties" for staff.
It disputed claims that it could save jobs, saying Akzo's record of axing 12,000 posts between 2009 to 2014 "speaks for itself".
Shares of Akzo Nobel closed Tuesday at 78.32 euros, valuing the company at nearly 20 billion euros. This values the company at 20 billion euros.
PPG Industries, the U.S. firm attempting an unsolicited and unwelcome takeover of the Dulux maker, has today published an open letter to Akzo's "stakeholders" telling them: "We will be stronger together".
The plan includes carving out AkzoNobel's specialty chemicals business within the next 12 months - leaving behind its paints and coatings business - then considering selling or listing the new company, according to a statement Wednesday.
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Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company.
Investors and analysts have largely been skeptical of whether Akzo's alternative plan can rival PPG's proposed offer of 90 euros per share in terms of value. Pittsburgh-based PPG rubbished Akzo's proposals.
With the new layout, Akzo Nobel expects to improve earnings (EBIT) in 2017 by around €100 million more than 2016.
Akzo shares nudged up 0.3 per cent, or 21 cents, to €78.50, suggesting the market - at the very least - believes the saga is far from over.
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