PPG sweetens unsolicited offer for Akzo Nobel to US$28.8 billion

AMSTERDAM (BLOOMBERG) - PPG Industries raised its unsolicited bid for Akzo Nobel to 26.9 billion euros (S$40.2 billion), making "one last invitation" for Europe's largest coatings company to negotiate a deal.

PPG is offering Akzo holders cash and stock valued at 96.75 euros a share including a dividend that Akzo plans to pay, PPG said in a statement Monday. PPG's previous, sweetened bid valued Amsterdam-based Akzo at 90 euros a share with the dividend. Akzo rejected it March 22, saying it was too low and not in the interests of shareholders, customers or employees.

With the higher bid, Akzo chief executive officer Ton Buechner will face growing pressure to negotiate with PPG. The CEO announced a plan last week to split the company in two and reward shareholders with a higher dividend, saying it offered more value than PPG's offer. The bidder said its new offer is superior to that plan.

"We are extending this one last invitation to you and the AkzoNobel boards to reconsider your stance and to engage with us on creating extraordinary value and benefits for all of AkzoNobel's stakeholders," PPG CEO Michael McGarry said in a letter to Akzo. PPG has said it won't rule out making a hostile offer directly to Akzo shareholders.

PPG, anticipating an objection from Akzo, said it would be willing to pay a "significant" breakup fee to the Dutch company if antitrust regulators block the transaction.

Akzo rose 4.2 per cent to 81.51 euros at 12:40 p.m. in Amsterdam. PPG fell 0.4 per cent Friday to close at US$105.94 in New York, giving the company a market value of US$27.2 billion.