AkzoNobel Hands Back €5.5 Billion to Investors
Dutch paints and coatings company AkzoNobel has announced it will pay out an additional €5.5 billion to shareholders following the €10.1 billion sale of its Specialty Chemicals business to US private equity investor Carlyle Group and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.
The proceeds will be distributed using a capital repayment and share consolidation of €2 billion, a special cash dividend of €1 billion and share buyback of €2.5 billion.
With a total of €1 billion already returned to shareholders last year, AkzoNobel said it is delivering on a commitment to return the vast majority of €7.5 billion net proceeds from the separation of the Specialty Chemicals business.
Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel’s CEO said: “This is a clear sign we are delivering on our commitments and focused on creating value for all our stakeholders as a paints and coatings company.”
The company’s management proposed separating the chemicals activities from its larger paints and coatings portfolio during its pushback against a €26 billion hostile takeover bid by US rival coatings group PPG in early 2017. AkzoNobel’s shareholders approved the spinout last November.
The capital repayment and share consolidation will be subject to shareholder approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on Nov. 3. The special cash dividend will be paid shortly after the capital repayment and share consolidation has been completed.
The share buyback will commence following payment of the special cash dividend and will likely be completed during the middle of 2020, AkzoNobel said.
The company will use the remaining proceeds to repay debt along with costs associated with the transformation and bolt-on acquisitions.
The former division will also be renamed. The company will be re-established under the name of Nouryon, a name derived from one of its predecessors.
Separately, AkzoNobel completed on Oct. 1 its acquisition of leading Romanian decorative paints company Fabryo. The deal gives AkzoNobel two production facilities and six distribution centers for decorative paints, adhesives and mortars, including one of the largest decorative paints factories in the region, with capacity for further expansion.
Fabryo, which produces key brands Savana, APLA and InnenWeiss, generated revenue of around €45 million in 2017.