Akzo Nobel adds incentives in takeover quest for ICI

The ongoing takeover quest of ICI Paints by Netherlands-based coatings giant Akzo Nobel will continue into November, when both companies hold discussions with shareholders about the proposed buyout deal.

ICI, with a corporate parent based in the United Kingdom, has a large North American presence with brands including Dulux, Glidden and Liquid Nails. The company was No. 16 on HCN’s Top 500 list of home channel retailers, following estimated 2006 sales at ICI’s retail stores of $1.8 billion.

Akzo has upped its bid for ICI to about $16 billion and has expressed confidence in receiving shareholder backing for the bid. To further woo its own investors, Akzo announced this week it would raise dividend payouts by 15 cents and give $3 billion back to investors by 2009.

“This is a year of incredible transformation,” said Akzo chairman Hans Wijers in a statement. “We are fully on track in creating one of the world’s leading industrial companies. We have a strong portfolio of businesses in attractive growth markets and, coupled with the synergies of the ICI integration ... we should be able to outgrow our markets.”

Akzo manufactures paints and coatings under the names Crown, Sikken and Schoenox, among others, with operations in 60 countries.

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