Axalta Coating Systems has announced that its board of directors has initiated a 'comprehensive review of strategic alternatives to maximise shareholder value.' The board has formed a strategic review committee, which will be chaired by the independent presiding director of Axalta's board, Mark Garrett, and will also include Axalta CEO Robert Bryant and Axalta independent director Samuel Smolik.
"Axalta's Board is committed to maximising value for all shareholders and has initiated a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale of the company, changes in capital allocation, and ongoing execution of our strategic plan," said Garrett. "Axalta's management team and Board have a strong track record of pursuing M&A opportunities, along with other initiatives and alternatives, to maximise shareholder value.
"Axalta continues to execute on its long-term strategy, delivering significant cost savings to bolster our industry-leading margins, re-deploying free cash flow to drive accretive organic and inorganic growth initiatives, and returning more than $380 million to shareholders over the last two years," added Bryant. "Given Axalta's progress in recent years and its leading position as a global coatings company – with 90% of 2018 sales derived from end markets where we have either the #1 or #2 global position – we believe that now is the right time to review a full range of options in an effort to maximise value for all shareholders."
No assurances can be given regarding the outcome or timing of the review process. Axalta does not intend to make any further public comment regarding the review until it has been completed or the company determines that disclosure is required or beneficial.
The Board has engaged Evercore and Barclays as financial advisors and Morrison & Foerster LLP as legal advisor to assist in its review.
According to Reuters Axalta shares jumped 14 percent on the news to $29.52 a share, giving the company a market capitalisation of about $7 billion.
Axalta rebuffed acquisition approaches in 2017 from Akzo Nobel NV and Nippon Paint Holdings Co Ltd.