AMSTERDAM, April 25 The chairman of Dutch
paint-maker Akzo Nobel, Antony Burgmans, told
shareholders at their annual meeting that the company is not yet
ready to respond to a 26.9 billion takeover proposal by U.S.
peer PPG Industries.
Burgmans said of the offer, made Monday, that "such matters
take time" to decide and there would be limited room at the
meeting to discuss the offer. Akzo's boards have rejected two
previous offers by PPG.
Before the meeting, Akzo said in a statement it had rejected
a request from a group of shareholders to call an extraordinary
meeting to discuss Burgmans' dismissal.
Akzo said the proposal by shareholders representing 10
percent of the company's shares led by hedge fund Elliott
Advisors was "irresponsible, disproportionate, damaging and not
in the best interests of the Company."
Separately, before the start of the meeting CEO Ton Buechner
said he had "good news" for shareholders.
"We put forward a splendid plan for them last week," he
said, referring to Akzo's plan to remain independent, sell its
chemicals arm, and pay investors an extra dividend this year
rather than merge with PPG.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Louise Heavens)