Dutch Government Seen as Helping Akzo Fight PPG

26.06.2017 -

Akzo Nobel cooperated closely with the government of the Netherlands, at least from Mar 9, to fend off the failed bid by US rival PPG to acquire the Amsterdam-based coatings and chemicals manufacturer, the Dutch arm of European broadcaster RTL has reported.

The coatings specialist revealed simultaneously on Mar. 9 it had received an unsolicited takeover offer from PPG and was looking at spinning off its specialty chemicals business.

PPG walked away from the takeover battle on Jun. 2 after Enterprise Chamber, a commercial court of the Netherlands, ruled in a lawsuit brought by shareholders that AkzoNobel was not required to hold special meeting or include investors in its response to the takeover bid.

RTL said emails it obtained under a freedom-of-information request showed company employees sending non-public information to government officials and officials consulting with AkzoNobel management on how to respond to questions from parliament.

While the Dutch government has no role to play in a takeover process involving private companies, its economic affairs minister, Henk Kamp, has repeatedly voiced his opposition to deals such as the one proposed by the US-based group.

In the aftermath of the struggle for the chemical company to remain in Dutch hands, the government is now said to have begun considering new laws or rules to protect multinationals from unwanted takeovers.