AkzoNobel has announced it is to sell its chemicals business in a bid to offer shareholders more money than the PPG takeover bid would make.
With the sale said to generate around $8-12 billion, the company’s divesture of the chemicals arm will create a chemical’s company that generates sales of around $5 billion per year, with five units – surfactants, ethylene oxide and derivatives, polymer chemicals, chlorine-based chemicals, and bleaching chemicals.
Speaking at a London briefing this week, AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner told analysts that it will either float shares of the chemicals business on the stock market, or alternatively sell the business as a whole – information that was said to be met with disdain from Wiktor Sliwinski, a portfolio manager for Elliot Advisors, which holds shares in the company.
According to c&en, Sliwinski is said to be pushing for the PPG deal, stating that AkzoNobel failed to create a fair comparison of the chemicals divestment plan with the takeover bid. Meanwhile PPG CEO Michael H. McGarry has claimed that company only came up with the divestment plan following its own approach to acquire the company – a suggestion Büchner has opposed, saying it has been in the pipeline for years with now being the appropriate time due to the recent ‘de-risk’ of pension obligations.
Following the divestment the company will focus on its coatings related R&D, with a planned investment of $1 billion by 2020.