AkzoNobel chemical dump turns very green for shareholders

AkzoNobel owns the Dulux brand (Bloomberg pic)

THE HAGUE: AkzoNobel, the world’s leading paintmaker, said Tuesday it will pay out an additional 5.5 billion euros (US$6.3 billion) to shareholders following the sale of its specialist chemicals unit.

The firm announced Monday it had closed the 10.1-billion-euro sale of the unit the US investment fund Carlyle Group and the Singaporean wealth fund GIC.

The disposal was launched in 2017 as part of a successful effort by the maker of Dulux and Trimetal paints to fend off a hostile takeover bid from US rival PPG.

With one billion euros distributed in advance to shareholders in 2017 as a sweetener, the payout will reach 6.5 billion euros out of the 7.5 billion euros in net proceeds AkzoNobel estimated from the deal.

“This is a clear sign we are delivering on our commitments and focused on creating value for all our stakeholders as a paints and coatings company,” chief executive Thierry Vanlancker was quoted as saying in a company statement.

The firm is proposing to shareholders to pay out the funds by means including a special cash dividend, share buybacks and repaying capital.

The company plans to use the remainder of the proceeds from the sale to repay debt, cover restructuring costs, and make acquisitions.