ICI agrees to Dutch takeover

DULUX Paints owner ICI has agreed an £8billion takeover by Dutch rival Akzo Nobel.The board of ICI, whose paints business includes a factory in Stowmarket, has recommended shareholders to accept an offer from Akzo of 670p per share.

DULUX Paints owner ICI has agreed an £8billion takeover by Dutch rival Akzo Nobel.

The board of ICI, whose paints business includes a factory in Stowmarket, has recommended shareholders to accept an offer from Akzo of 670p per share.

Two earlier approaches by Akzo were snubbed by ICI earlier this summer but last week the company agreed to give its Dutch rival access to its books and on Friday the Takeover Panel agreed to give Akzo more time to prepare a formal bid.

However, the new deadline of 5pm tonight has now become academic with the ICI board deciding over the weekend to back the 670p per share bid.

Some ICI shareholders were reported to be holding out for an offer of 700p per share but there is also known to be concern among Akzo shareholders at its 670p valuation.

Akzo already owns the Crown Paints brand and is keen to add Dulux to its business, a move it estimates will achieve cost savings of around £189million.

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Besides a workforce of 77 at the Dulux plant in Stowmarket, ICI also employs 118 at its ICI Imagedata business at Brantham, on the Suffolk-Essex border.

For full coverage of the ICI takeover, see tomorrow's BusinessEast supplement in the EADT.