AMSTERDAM, March 20 Four Dutch provincial
governments said on Monday they were opposed to a takeover of
paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel due to potential
job losses, in a sign of the challenges facing the company's
On March 9, Akzo Nobel rejected a $22 billion takeover
proposal from PPG Industries, which analysts now expect
to return with a higher offer.
Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp of the governing VVD
Party - known as the most pro-business party in the country -
said then the takeover would not be "in the interest of the
That was shortly before elections on March 15 in which
national identity and anti-foreign sentiment played a prominent
role. The VVD Party is now expected to lead to a new government.
In a joint statement published on Monday, the four provinces
of Gelderland, Overijssel, Groningen and Zuid Holland - where
Akzo has its biggest research and development facilities as well
as several factories - said they expected a new proposal from
PPG and that they would oppose it.
"This takeover would put 5,000 jobs at risk in the
provinces," the four provincial governors said in a statement.
"Akzo belongs in the provinces."
After its rejection, PPG said it was "still confident in its
ability to execute and complete the proposed transaction."
Jeroen Dijsselbloem of the Netherlands' left-leaning Labour
party, has called for expanding a proposed law giving the
national government power to block telecommunications sector
takeovers to include all industries.
The country's main business and employers' association
VNO-NCW said in a statement before the election it did not want
"new far-reaching protective measures by the government".
However, chairman Hans de Boer said the organisation was
"concerned" about proposals to take over Akzo Nobel and an offer
in February by Kraft Heinz for Unilever, which was also
"The buying parties may pose a threat to the unique position
Dutch companies hold at the forefront of sustainability and long
term value creation," he said.
The VNO-NCW wants to engage the country's new cabinet -
which may not be formed for several months - in a dialogue as to
whether current protections from takeovers are sufficient.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Mark Potter)