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Elliott launching legal action to oust AkzoNobel boss Antony Burgmans

Activist investor Elliott Advisors is to take legal action as part of its bid to oust the chairman of Dulux owner AkzoNobel and force the firm to enter takeover talks with PPG Industries.

Elliott has filed a petition with the Dutch Enterprise Chamber to "enforce the rights" of AkzoNobel's shareholders to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) where investors can vote to remove Antony Burgmans.

In a strongly-worded statement, Elliott accused Mr Burgmans of "failing to discharge his fiduciary and corporate governance duties".

On Monday AkzoNobel rejected a third takeover bid, worth 26.9 billion euro (£22.7 billion), from PPG Industries.

Elliott added: "Elliott views AkzoNobel's rejection of PPG's third proposal without entering into any constructive form of engagement with PPG as a flagrant breach of AkzoNobel's boards' fiduciary duties and of Dutch corporate law, and as an arrogant dismissal of recognised principles of proper corporate governance.

"AkzoNobel's boards continue to demonstrate a disturbing and inexplicable tendency to act in their own, self-entrenching interests and against the interests of shareholders and other stakeholders."

Known for its strong-arm tactics, Elliott, which holds a stake worth more than 3% in AkzoNobel, has warned it would attempt to oust managers if the company refused to commence talks with PPG.

Last month the paintmaker rejected the request for the EGM in a bullish response that saw it accuse Elliott Advisors of sharing ''price sensitive information''.

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