AkzoNobel and Axalta have concluded their merger discussions without finalizing an agreement. In a press release, Axalta chairman and CEO Charles W. Shaver stated, “After pursuing a potential combination of Axalta and Akzo, we concluded we could not negotiate a transaction on terms that meet our criteria. Any transaction we ultimately agree to needs to generate superior long-term value for Axalta shareholders as compared to the continued execution of our strategic plan.” For AkzoNobel, CEO Thierry Vanlacker said, “I am confident that our strategy offers significant value for shareholders and other stakeholders in the short, medium and long term. We remain focused on our strategic options to continue to develop our business and improve profitability in the future.” Separation of AkzoNobel’s specialty chemicals business, and return of the majority of the net proceeds to shareholders, remain on track, per AkzoNobel. Had it happened, the would have been a merger of equals and Akzo’s spinoff of the specialty chemicals business was a condition of the deal. www.axalta.com