THE security of hundreds of jobs in Slough could be in jeopardy after American firm PPG launched a hostile bid to takeover Dutch company AkzoNobel.

The bid, which was announced last Friday, is thought to be in the region of £18 billion and could spell an uncertain future for thousands of British employees, including the hundreds who work at AkzoNobel’s UK headquarters in Wexham Road, Slough. AkzoNobel owns paint firm Dulux whose academy and UK HQ are also part of the AkzoNobel facility in the town.

The company employs in excess of 750 people in Slough - and this week workers at the site appeared in the dark, saying they knew little of the takeover so far.

However, AkzoNobel are so far standing their ground and have rejected the initial bid from PPG. But it is understood further bids could be fourthcoming.

Ton Büchner, CEO, AkzoNobel, said: “The unsolicited proposal we received from PPG substantially undervalues our company and contains serious risks and uncertainties.

“The proposal is not in the interest of AkzoNobel’s stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers and employees, and we have unanimously rejected it.

“Along with my colleagues on our Boards, our executive team and our thousands of employees, I firmly believe that AkzoNobel is best placed to unlock the value within our company ourselves.

“We understand our role in society and want to protect our ability to continue to invest in communities, research and development, innovation and sustainability in the countries in which we operate.”

PPG representatives have described the offer as both ‘attractive and comprehensive’. A spokesperson said: “PPG continues to believe there is a strong strategic rationale for the proposed transaction between PPG and AkzoNobel and will carefully evaluate and consider its position and path forward related to its proposal.”

Michael McGarry, chairman and CEO of PPG said: “PPG has long admired AkzoNobel’s businesses, global presence, culture and principles as well as its advances in innovative product development and sustainable business practices.

“We believe a combination of our two companies is a very compelling strategic opportunity. “ “We are confident that this combination is in the best interests of the stakeholders of both companies as it presents a unique opportunity to build on the successful legacies of our businesses.

“PPG has carefully considered the interest of all AkzoNobel stakeholders including shareholders, employees, customers and the communities it serves and has proposed its willingness to enter into serious commitments in respect of all stakeholders.”

The closure of the Dulux factory was confirmed by AkzoNobel in 2011 after a new site in Northumberland was built. A final closure date is yet to be confirmed.

AkzoNobel acquired the paints and coatings division of the former UK industrial and chemical company ICI ten years ago in an £8 billion deal.