* Shares spike 5.4 pct to 32-month high
* AkzoNobel declines to comment
* Stock closes up 4.9 pct vs 0.4 pct rise of index
(Adds background on private equity deals, closing stock price)
AMSTERDAM, Feb 10 Shares of Dutch chemical group
AkzoNobel (AKZO.AS) surged on talk of private equity takeover
interest, traders said, though a deal would be improbably hard
to fund, given its 11 billion euro market value.
Any leveraged buyout would be easily the biggest such deal
since the credit crisis began to bite in mid-2007, and at least
three times the size of 2010's biggest deal, KKR's [KKR.UL]
purchase of Del Monte Foods for $5.3 billion including debt.
While bankers and private equity executives say deals of $10
to $15 billion could now be financed if they involved companies
with large U.S. operations, it would still be a stretch.
A potential buyer offering a conventional premium of perhaps
30 percent to AkzoNobel's share price would have to pay roughly
14 billion euros ($19 billion) for its shares, and also assume
its net debt.
Debt stood at 2 billion euros at the end of the third
quarter, although AkzoNobel, which is the world's largest paints
maker ahead of U.S.-based rivals Sherwin-Williams (SHW.N) and
PPG (PPG.N), has plans to use some of the $1.3 billion proceeds
from the sale of its National Starch business to pay down debt.
AkzoNobel shares rose as much as 5.4 percent to a 32-month
high on Thursday before closing up 4.9 percent at 49.31 euros.
The STOXX 600 Europe Chemicals index closed 0.4 percent higher.
The company reports fourth-quarter results next Thursday.
AkzoNobel spokesman Tim van der Zanden declined to comment
on the market rumours.
"There is a vague rumour private equity is interested in
buying AkzoNobel," one trader said.
Two other traders said the chance was very small that
AkzoNobel could be taken over by a private equity group, citing
the company's market value.
(Reporting by Quentin Webb in London, Harro ten Wolde in
Frankfurt, and Gilbert Kreijger and Aaron Gray-Block in
Amsterdam; Editing by Sara Webb and Will Waterman)