Sika Board claims growing support
By Chris Sleight30 January 2015
Sika’s Board says it has received the support of investors representing more than 40% of the company’s share capital for its opposition of Saint-Gobain’s bid to take over control of the construction chemicals maker. Under a deal announced in December, Saint-Gobain plans to buy shares owned by the Burkard-Schenker family, which represent 16.1% of Sika’s capital, but 52.4% of its voting rights, for CHF 2.75 billion (US$ 2.8 billion).
The proposed deal provoked an angry response from Sika’s management when it was announced. Statements highlighted that it would not entail an offer to other shareholders, representing 83.9% of Sika’s capital. The management also questioned the industrial logic of the deal and Saint-Gobain’s cost savings projects.
Sika’s Board says support for its opposition to the takeover now includes 22 Swiss pension funds along with municipalities and other public institutions holding shares. The group of supporting shareholders also includes the Ethos Foundation, a group of 194 Swiss pension funds and similar institutions which advocates socially responsible investment and campaigns on shareholder issues.
Moves by Sika’s Board to block the takeover have included stripping Schenker-Winkler Holding (SWH), through which the Burkard-Schenker family owns its shares, of the majority of its voting rights. Saint-Gobain said it believed this move to be illegal.