Akzo Nobel's £8 billion takeover offer accepted
ICI have accepted a takeover offer of ?8 billion from chemical conglomerate Akzo Nobel. This 670p per share agreement is Akzo’s third approach for ICI in as many months, following an initial offer of 600p per share in June, and then 650p per share in July. On both occasions, ICI rejected the deal on the grounds that it failed to recognise ICI’s full strategic value.
However, the British firm finally gave Akzo permission to peruse its books after it made the 670p offer in early August.
The deal will now be put to the shareholders of each company for approval. Analysts predict no significant objections from ICI shareholders, who are set to receive 22 per cent premium per share on the 549p closing price of ICI shares the day before Akzo’s first approach was announced. However, certain Akzo shareholders have voiced concerns that the Dutch firm are overpaying for ICI, although their numbers aren’t expected to be large enough to derail the agreement.
Akzo has been able to offer more money, and reassure most shareholders, since it agreed that after the takeover it would sell ICI’s US National Starch subsidiary - the adhesives and electronic materials section of the company - to German consumer chemicals supplier Henkel, for ?2.7 billion.
ICI’s strengths in decorative paints and coatings are its main attractions for Akzo, which is already the world’s largest maker of industrial coatings. The Dutch company is cash-rich after selling its pharmaceuticals business, Organon, for 11 billion euros (?7.5 billion) to Schering-Plough in March.
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