May 23, 2017 / 7:53 AM / 2 years ago

PPG CEO says remains interested in 'consensual' deal with Akzo

FILE PHOTO: Cans of Dulux paint, an Akzo Nobel brand, are seen on the shelves of a hardware store near Manchester, Britain, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - PPG Industries (PPG.N) remains interested in negotiating a “consensual” deal with Akzo Nobel (AKZO.AS), even as the Dutch rival paint maker resists its 26.3 billion euro ($29.5 billion) takeover offer, PPG’s top executive said on Tuesday.

PPG Chief Executive Michael McGarry, who was in the Netherlands for a shareholder lawsuit against Akzo a day earlier, told journalists he had never before seen such hostility between a company and its shareholders.

But McGarry said “PPG remains very interested in pursuing a privately negotiated, substantive deal with Akzo Nobel.”

On Monday, several major Akzo shareholders led by activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors, filed a lawsuit against the company over the refusal by Akzo’s management to enter talks.

PPG is in discussions with Dutch market regulator AFM about extending by up to two weeks a June 1 deadline to submit a formal bid for Akzo while it awaits the court’s decision, most likely on May 29.

McGarry said that financing of a possible deal “is not an issue. We will have all the financing we need on whatever the appropriate date is,” he said.

Shares in Akzo traded 1 percent higher at 76.47 euros at 0830 GMT on Tuesday, well below PPG’s 96.75 euros per share bid proposal made on April 20, suggesting investors are skeptical a PPG offer will ultimately succeed.

Akzo has argued a PPG takeover would be bad for employees, that the companies’ cultures don’t mesh, that a deal faces antitrust risks, that it would be bad for the environment and that Akzo should stay Dutch in the country’s national interest.

Reporting by Toby Sterling and Bart Meijer; Writing by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Louise Heavens and Keith Weir

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