AkzoNobel reviews strategic options to separate specialty chemicals business


AkzoNobel has revealed that it has reviewed strategic options for the separation of its speciality chemicals business.

The company anticipates that separating its specialty chemicals business would allow the company to build and accelerate its market-leading positions across a range of market segments.

The speciality chemicals business had revenues of €4.8bn in 2016, and is strongly positioned with a broad portfolio of leading technologies and chemicals, which service a wide range of end-user segments such as construction, industrial and consumer goods.

As part of its separation plans, AkzoNobel will explore various alternative ownership structures for the speciality chemicals business that include establishment of an independent listed entity‎.

AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner said: "Our specialty chemicals business is an industry leader in many of the markets in which it operates and we are extremely proud of its heritage, performance and people.

"We are reviewing strategic options to separate it from the company to create a focus for both specialty chemicals and the decorative paints and performance coatings group, allowing them to build further on their respective leadership positions.

"As stated at our full-year results announcement in February, we are now a leaner, more agile company with a solid financial and operational foundation and a focus on growth.

"AkzoNobel has enjoyed a record performance in recent years in terms of profitability and has made significant strategic progress, allowing us to take this decision."

The decision for separating its speciality chemicals was brought forward after the following confirmation that AkzoNobel has put forward the proposal from PPG Industries for all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of AkzoNobel.

"We are reviewing strategic options to separate it from the company to create a focus for both specialty chemicals and the decorative paints and performance coatings group."

Büchner further added: "Our decision today was brought forward due to recent events. The unsolicited proposal we received from PPG substantially undervalues our company and contains serious risks and uncertainties.

"The proposal is not in the interest of AkzoNobel’s stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers and employees, and we have unanimously rejected it.

"Along with my colleagues on our boards, our executive team and our thousands of employees, I firmly believe that AkzoNobel is best placed to unlock the value within our company ourselves.

"We understand our role in society and want to protect our ability to continue to invest in communities, research and development, innovation and sustainability in the countries in which we operate."


Image: AkzoNobel centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Photo: courtesy of AkzoNobel NV.