A Dutch court has rejected a request by Akzo Nobel investors for it to take immediate action against the company over its rejection of a takeover bid by U.S. rival PPG Industries , handing the Dutch company a victory in its efforts to repel the U.S. firm's 25 billion euro ($28 billion) proposed offer. Ciara Lee reports.
A victory for Dutch paint firm Akzo Nobel. A court has refused a request by some of its investors to take action against the company over its rejection of a takeover bid by U.S rival PPG Industries. The ruling gives weight to the company's efforts to repel the 25 billion euro proposed offer. Pressure is now on PPG to decide whether to file formal bidding papers for Akzo with Dutch regulators by a June 1st deadline. Or walk away for at least six months. SOUNDBITE (English) JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, SAYING: "So what should PPG do now? Well frankly I would suggest they probably made a quite nice figure on on the shares already. So if I were them I'd take that profit and go away and think about if you're going to carry out these actions. Go and find an American company. In Europe it ain't quite so easy." The court ruled Akzo's board had been within its rights to reject entering into talks with PPG. But noted the management faced dissent from a large group of shareholders who wanted it to engage in talks. A group representing around 18 percent of its equity had spoken out in support of the suit, launched by hedge fund Elliott Advisors. PPG says it is reviewing the ruling. The American firm began its pursuit of Akzo Nobel in March, and has seen three takeover proposals rejected. It's taken legal action with a different Dutch court in seeking to extend the June deadline.