Dutch reject PPG's request to extend Akzo Nobel offer deadline

(Reuters) - U.S. coatings maker PPG Industries Inc PPG.N said on Tuesday that the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) did not grant its request to extend a June 1 deadline for making a tender offer for Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel NV AKZO.AS.

FILE PHOTO: A view of Akzo Nobel's headquarters in Amsterdam, February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos/File Photo

The Dutch regulator did not comment on reasons for rejecting the request.

AFM’s decision ratchets up pressure on PPG to decide whether to take its offer directly to Akzo shareholders by filing formal tender offer papers with Dutch regulators by Thursday, or walk away for at least six months.

Akzo has rejected three cash-and-stock offers from PPG since March. It turned down PPG’s latest offer of 26.3 billion euros ($28.8 billion) earlier this month.

PPG’s board met on Tuesday to discuss its options, according to sources, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

“PPG will continue to assess all of its options including whether or not to file a preliminarily draft offer memorandum with the AFM by no later than June 1,” the company said in a statement after Reuters reported on AFM’s decision.

Akzo Nobel declined to comment.

Akzo has argued a PPG takeover would be bad for employees and that the two companies’ cultures do not mesh. It has also said a deal faces antitrust hurdles, would be bad for the environment, and that Akzo should remain under Dutch ownership.

PPG has countered that its offer represents more value for Akzo shareholders than the company’s standalone plan. It has sought to provide assurances it can close the deal and that it will uphold Akzo’s commitments to communities in the Netherlands.

A Dutch court on Monday rejected a request by Akzo investors, led by activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors, for an extraordinary general meeting to remove Akzo Chairman Antony Burgmans over his reluctance to engage in talks with PPG.

An unsolicited bid by PPG would be considered hostile by Akzo, which has protective measures against hostile takeovers. One of its ownership entities is a foundation that holds sufficient voting power to block any deal.

Akzo has unveiled its own standalone plan, which calls for operational improvements and cost savings, as well as exploring a spin-off or sale of its specialty chemicals business.

Akzo’s specialty chemicals business makes ingredients used in industrial processes and products, including polymers, salt and chloralkalines used for making everything from foodstuffs to household products, paper, vehicles and constructing buildings.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Matthew Lewis