French conglomerate Saint-Gobain is continuing to pursue its plan to acquire controlling interest in Swiss specialty chemical company SIKA AG, according to the company’s latest letter to shareholders. Meanwhile, a letter was sent to Saint-Gobain management by SIKA’s managers “urging the company to reconsider its acquisition plans,” based on a local report.
A Saint-Gobain spokesman reportedly dismissed the letter. The managers apparently asked Saint-Gobain to open talks on alternatives to the plan.
The saga appears likely to play out in the Swiss court system.
The drama began after Saint-Gobain’s plan to gain a controlling interest in SIKA by acquiring Schenker-Winkler Holding (SWH) was revealed late last year. SWH, which is owned by the Burkard family, controls 16.1 percent of SIKA’s capital with 52.4 percent in voting rights. The wording of SIKA’s opt-out clause means Saint-Gobain does not have to reimburse or buy the remaining shares to gain a controlling voting interest in the company.
SIKA’s board, its current management and some investors are attempting to stave off the bid by Saint-Gobain.