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BREAKING NEWS: Akzo Nobel finalises sale of specialty chemicals business for €10.1billion

Published: 1 October 2018 - Fiona Garcia
 

Following the announcement its decorative paints business had completed the acquisition of Fabryo earlier today, Akzo Nobel has just announced the completion of the sale of its specialty chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and GIC.

The firm was given the green light to separate out the speciality checmicals division from its paints and coatings business in December last year after a wrangle with shareholders when the board rebuffed a proposed takeover by PPG. As agreed at the Extraordinary General Meeting of November 30, 2017, Akzo Nobel will return the vast majority of net proceeds from the sale of specialty chemicals to its shareholders. In a statement earlier today, Akzo Nobel said it expected to complete the sale by the end of 2018. 

Akzo Nobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker commented: "Today is a key milestone in the history of Akzo Nobel, creating a focused paints and coatings company, with market leading positions, strong global brands, and a clear strategy to create value for all our stakeholders.

"This is also an important step for the specialty chemicals business and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our colleagues and wish them a successful future with Carlyle and GIC."

CEO of the speciality chemicals division, Charles Shaver said: "I am delighted to assume my new role at Specialty Chemicals and look forward to working with the management team, Carlyle and GIC to deliver long term success. Specialty Chemicals has a strong global presence and a talented and dedicated team and I believe there is significant opportunity to drive additional growth through innovation and customer focus to build on the company's leading positions in its markets."

The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $210billion of assets under management across 335 investment vehicles as of June 30, 2018. Carlyle invests across four segments - Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions - in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America.

Meanwhile, GIC is a leading global investment firm established in 1981 to manage Singapore's foreign reserves. It has investments in over 40 countries. In private equity, GIC invests through funds as well as directly in companies, partnering with its fund managers and management teams. Headquartered in Singapore, GIC employs over 1,400 people across 10 offices in key financial cities worldwide.

Carlyle Group managing directors Martin Sumner and Zeina Bain added: "We are excited to invest in Specialty Chemicals and we are committed to growing the business and continuing to enhance its competitive position. Specialty Chemicals has a great heritage, a high quality asset base and workforce, an excellent track record of innovation as well as a diversified customer and product portfolio. We look forward to working with Charlie and the management team to support Specialty Chemicals as it embarks on a new phase as an independent company."

UPDATE: Following the news of the sale yesterday, Akzo Nobel has announced that an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) will be held on November 13, 2018.

This relates to the separation of the Specialty Chemicals business and commitment to return the vast majority of net proceeds to shareholders, following advance proceeds of €1 billion paid as special cash dividend on December 7, 2017.

The agenda will include:

  1. Capital repayment and share consolidation (voting point)
  2. Proposal to amend the Articles of Association to increase the par value of the common shares
  3. Proposal to amend the Articles of Association to execute the share consolidation
  4. Proposal to amend the Articles of Association to decrease the par value of the common shares, including a reduction of capital
  5. Proposal to grant the authority to execute the notarial deeds of amendment of the Articles of Association

Akzo Nobel supervisory board chairman Nils Andersen commented: "Now that we have completed the sale of the specialty chemicals business, we intend to swiftly and efficiently return the vast majority of net proceeds to our shareholders, as promised.

“Akzo Nobel remains focused on achieving the next phase of value creation for shareholders and other stakeholders, by implementing the strategy to create a focused, and high performing, paints and coatings company."

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