AkzoNobel NV will separate its specialty chemicals operations through a sale or demerger as part of its strategy to create two focused businesses, one for paints & coatings and a separate one for specialty chemicals, which makes products used in plastics.
The decision was made during a Nov. 30 special general meeting, where the shareholders also approved the appointment of new Chief Financial Officer Maarten de Vries as a member of the board of management, effective Jan. 1.
In addition, the board endorsed the appointment of three new members to the AkzoNobel supervisory board: Sue Clark, Patrick Thomas and Michiel Jaski.
With the shareholder approval, AkzoNobel can now separate its specialty chemicals business through a private sale or legal demerger.
The Dutch chemicals company announced its new strategy in April, drawn up amid a 24.6 billion euro ($29.2 billion) takeover offer by the U.S.-based specialty company PPG Industries Inc., which the company turned down later that month.
This new plan involves the separation of the specialty chemicals unit into a new business, which will subsequently be divested “within 12 months.”
The proposed strategy also pledged to give 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion) via a special dividend to shareholders, “reflecting confidence in the planned separation.”
During the Nov. 30 meeting, AkzoNobel confirmed the payment, saying the special dividend would be paid on Dec. 7.
Under the new structure, the company will either list the specialty chemicals unit as a separate entity or sell it and focus on paint and coatings business with “fit-for-purpose structure and processes.”
The chemical unit, which had a 4.8 billion euros ($5.69 billion) in sales in 2016, makes ingredients for products including plastics, detergents and pharmaceuticals.