Update: AkzoNobel and Axalta end merger talks

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Dutch speciality chemicals AkzoNobel NV and the US firm Axalta Coating Systems have concluded merger talks without an agreement, it was announced 21 Nov. 

The Dutch company, which had confirmed the negotiations on 30 Oct over the potential merger of the AkzoNobel Paints and Coatings business with Axalta, said it would continue its strategy of creating two focussed businesses of Paints & Coatings and Specialty Chemicals. 

AkzoNobel confirmed that its separation of Specialty Chemicals unit, which it announced earlier this year, will remain on track for April 2018 unaffected by these discussions. 

In April AkzoNobel outlined a new strategy which would see its Specialty Chemicals unit separated into a new business unit and divested within 12 months. 

The restructuring came amid repeated bids by US rival PPG Industries to take over AkzoNobel, which were all turned down by the company. 

“I am confident that our strategy offers significant value for shareholders and other stakeholders in the short, medium and long term. We remain focused on our strategic options to continue to develop our business and improve profitability in the future,” said Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of AkzoNobel.

This week, Japan’s Nippon Paint submitted an all-cash takeover bid for Axalta, thereby nipping in the bud any opportunity for the merger between equals sought by AkzoNobel.

Sources said the offer was made at a considerable premium to where Axalta shares ended on 20 Nov at $33.54.

Axalta confirmed that a proposal had been made in a statement on 22 Nov: “Axalta today confirmed that it is engaged in discussions with Nippon Paint regarding a potential acquisition of Axalta.

"Axalta will pursue such a transaction only if its board of directors determines that it is in the best interest of Axalta to do so. There can be no assurances that a definitive agreement between the parties will be reached or on what terms.”

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