AkzoNobel has announced its intention to separate its speciality chemicals business as it creates two focused divisions.
The company says the creation of a ‘Paints and Coatings’ and ‘Speciality Chemicals’ divisionover the next 12 months will create value for shareholders, with the “vast majority” of net proceeds being returned to them.
It proposes €1.6 billion EU (approx.. £1.3bn GBP) to be returned for 2017 via a €1 billion special dividend combined with a 50 percent increase to the regular dividend.
“Our commitment to substantial shareholder returns reinforces our belief that the plan we are outlining today will create a step change in value creation, generating significant shareholder value in the short, medium and long term. It will be delivered at pace, with a clear timeline and is in the best interest of all stakeholders,” said Ton Büchner, CEO of AkzoNobel.
“During recent years, we have consistently delivered on our commitments to improve profitability and growth, while building momentum within our Company. We have world class teams and a solid financial and operational foundation.”
Büchner added that the “industry-leading performance and outlook” of AkzoNobel’s Speciality Chemicals business gives the company the confidence to return proceeds to shareholders in advance of the separation.
“Now is the right time to create two focused, high-performing businesses. This strategy will create substantial value for shareholders with significant less risks and uncertainties compared to alternatives,” he continued.