The Dutch coatings firm’s newly-appointed chief financial officer (CFO) and three supervisory board members have gained shareholder approval for the move, which forms part of its strategy to create two “focused, high-performing businesses,” with Paints and Coatings and Specialty Chemicals.
The motion was carried at Akzo Nobel’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Thursday, November 30. The appointment of new CFO Maarten de Vries as a member of the Board of Management, effective January 1 was also approved, in addition to the appointment of three new members to the Akzo supervisory board: Sue Clark, Patrick Thomas, and Michiel Jaski.
Shareholder approval enables Akzo to separate its Specialty Chemicals business through a private sale or legal demerger. The firm, which owns leading decorative brands Dulux, Hammerite, and Cuprinol, believes the dual-track process will ensure the flexibility needed to obtain “an optimal result for shareholders and other stakeholders”.
As Akzo has previously announced, it intends to return the vast majority of the net proceeds from the separation of the division to its shareholders - starting with advance proceeds of €1 billion through a special cash dividend. The special dividend will be paid on December 7, 2017.
Chief executive officer Thierry Vanlancker commented: "We welcome Maarten de Vries to Akzo Nobel. With his extensive international business experience he will further strengthen the leadership of our company. Today marks a significant milestone in the transformation of Akzo Nobel into two focused high performing businesses, which remains on track for April 2018."
Chairman of the supervisory board Antony Burgmans added: "Today's approval ensures we maintain momentum in the process to separate our Specialty Chemicals business. Our new appointments bring a wealth of new insight and experience to our Boards, supporting Akzo Nobel to deliver sustainable growth and value creation.”