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Published: 1 August 2007
Akzo Nobel faces shareholder rebellion; Beale sells up; John Lewis sees yet another storming week
Akzo Nobel is facing the prospect of a shareholder rebellion after one of its largest shareholders, TPG-Axon, baulked at the £7.8 billion offer for ICI.

ICI rejected the second offer (priced at 650p) on Monday with its shareholders looking for another revised bid in 'excess of £7 a share'.

According to a report in the Financial Times, TPG-Axon's managing partner Dinakar Singh wrote to the chairman of Akzo's management board saying he does not the believe the acquisition to be 'justified' by the numbers.

He added he fears Akzo's approach has become 'increasingly desperate'.

Both parties remain in talks however, with Akzo saying it had only improved its latest offer after a deal in principle to sell on ICI's adhesive and electronic materials divisions to Henkel.

It has also emerged that US chemical group, Dow Chemical may launch a counter bid following the appointment of investment bank, Lazard.

Department store Beale has signed an agreement to surrender the lease of a store in Ealing, London. It will receive £375,000 in cash. Beale added that the closure and the effects of poor trading will increase its losses.

Current trading has been described as 'disappointing'.

John Lewis meanwhile saw stores sales for the week to July 21 up 11.6% which, according to analysts, after stripping out the influence of 'Direct' (+40.6%) meant a 9.7% increase from the stores.

Category winners included furniture and textiles (+17.9% comprising upholstery, beds, garden furniture, and linens) and furnishing accessories (+8.4% in lighting).


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