THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Industrial paints and chemicals company AkzoNobel says it plans to spin off its Specialty Chemicals unit within 12 months to boost growth and reward its shareholders.
The shake-up at the Dutch multinational comes after it recently rejected two unsolicited takeover bids by American rival PPG Industries.
In a move aimed at keeping shareholders happy and loyal, AkzoNobel says it will boost its dividend by 50 percent and return the "vast majority of net proceeds" from the separation of its Specialty Chemicals unit to shareholders.
CEO Ton Buechner says, "Now is the right time to create two focused, high-performing businesses."
AkzoNobel on Wednesday said first-quarter net profit was stable at 240 million euros ($257 million) as revenue rose by seven percent to 3.66 billion euros ($3.9 billion).