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Akzo Nobel backs its chairman, still studying PPG offer

Cans of Dulux paint, an Akzo Nobel brand, are seen on the shelves of a hardware store near Manchester, Britain, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The chairman of Dutch paint-maker Akzo Nobel(AKZO.AS), Antony Burgmans, told shareholders at their annual meeting that the company is not yet ready to respond to a 26.9 billion takeover proposal by U.S. peer PPG Industries (PPG.N).

Burgmans said of the offer, made Monday, that "such matters take time" to decide and there would be limited room at the meeting to discuss the offer. Akzo's boards have rejected two previous offers by PPG.

Before the meeting, Akzo said in a statement it had rejected a request from a group of shareholders to call an extraordinary meeting to discuss Burgmans' dismissal.

Akzo said the proposal by shareholders representing 10 percent of the company's shares led by hedge fund Elliott Advisors was "irresponsible, disproportionate, damaging and not in the best interests of the Company."

Separately, before the start of the meeting CEO Ton Buechner said he had "good news" for shareholders.

"We put forward a splendid plan for them last week," he said, referring to Akzo's plan to remain independent, sell its chemicals arm, and pay investors an extra dividend this year rather than merge with PPG.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Louise Heavens)