PPG ups bid for Akzo Nobel
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US paint maker PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG Industries [PPG]) has again upped its bid for Dutch peer Akzo Nobel, taking its bid to almost $29 billion.

The move comes just a day ahead of Akzo's annual shareholder meeting where the company is expected to come under pressure to accept the 96.75 euros ($104.96) per share offer.

The latest bid is a eight percent higher than PPG's last offer and 17 percent higher than their original March 2 bid.

At 11:30am (GMT) Akzo shares had already risen six percent to a record high of 82.86 euros.

PPG Chief Executive Michael McGarry said in a statement today that the new offer was final.

"We are extending this one last invitation to you and the AkzoNobel boards to reconsider your stance and to engage with us," he said.

"Our revised proposal represents a second increase in price along with significant and highly-specific commitments that we are confident AkzoNobel's stakeholders will find compelling."

Akzo said in a statement it would "carefully review and consider" the proposal but up until last week the company was taking measures to appease shareholders and remain an independent company.

Akzo offered shareholders 1.6 billion euros in extra dividends and also outlined a plan to sell or float its chemicals arm.

But PPG has criticised the scheme, saying the plunge in AkzoNobel's stock price showed that "capital markets have not recognized any additional value from its new standalone plan, including the enhanced regular dividend and special dividend that AkzoNobel has proposed for 2017."

"One of the more notable risks of AkzoNobel's new standalone plan is that it creates two smaller, unproven standalone companies with uncertain market valuations and substantial risks.

"AkzoNobel's standalone plan also will require substantial restructuring; potentially decreases free cash flow, putting future and accelerated growth plans of the demerged companies at risk."

PPG said a merger would save up to $750 million a year.

The US firm has also added some sweeteners to the deal to entice shareholders who may be hesitant to allow such a huge company to be acquired by a foreign owner.

PPG said it some of the Akzo business could remain headquartered in the Netherland and the UK, no European factories would be relocated to the US and none of Akzo's Netherlands-based chemical staff would "lose their job as a direct result of this acquisition".


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