(Adds fresh CEO quotes, stock price move, more detail)
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AMSTERDAM, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel on Monday entered the race to buy Finnish peer Tikkurila with an offer 13% higher than an increased bid made earlier this month by U.S. rival PPG Industries.
Akzo said it was willing to pay 31.25 euros per outstanding share, valuing Tikkurila at 1.4 billion euros ($1.69 billion), versus the 27.75 euros offered by PPG two weeks ago, and invited the Finnish company’s board to enter negotiations even though it has already agreed to PPG’s offer.
“This is a very rational bid,” Akzo Chief Executive Officer Thierry Vanlancker told reporters. He denied Akzo was mainly trying to defend itself against PPG, which in 2017 dropped a $26.5 billion offer for Akzo after repeated rejections from the company and legal defeats.
“It doesn’t happen a lot that one of the players of this size gets in play, we felt it was an opportunity to take,” Vanlancker said.
Tikkurila could not be immediately reached for comment
Akzo Nobel shares were down 2.5% in early trading in Amsterdam. ING analysts said the bid was relatively high and could lead to a bidding war with PPG.
PPG increased its bid after Tikkurila said it had received a competing offer, but Vanlancker declined to say whether that bid had come from his company.
Akzo said in order to obtain regulatory approval for the deal, it would sell assets including its decorative paints business in the Nordics and Baltics to Danish peer Hempel after closing.
Vanlancker did not provide details on the deal with Hempel.
$1 = 0.8281 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer and Tarmo Virki; editing by Kirsten Donovan, Edmund Blair and Jason Neely