Saint-Gobain claims OK gained for Sika takeover
French building materials giant Saint-Gobain on Monday announced that it has now obtained the anti-trust authorizations needed to take control of Swiss adhesives maker Sika, a move that has been blocked for over a year by minority shareholders.
Saint-Gobain agreed to purchase the 16.1 percent stake in Sika held by the Burkard-Schenker family, which founded the company, for 2.75 billion francs ($2.86 billion).
The founding family holds a particularly powerful class of shares, which means if Saint-Gobain's purchase goes through, the French firm would control 52.4 percent of voting rights in Sika.
Saint Gobain said in a statement Monday it has obtained "unconditional authorization from the Brazilian competition authority to acquire control of
It followed the authorizations the French company had already received from the Swiss authorities and the European Commission.
Minority shareholders, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, have bitterly fought the takeover bid, accusing Sika's founding family of disregarding the company's interests and engaging in a protracted battle in court.
Saint-Gobain rejects the notion that its offer will be bad for Sika's business, predicting the merger will produce synergies worth roughly €100 million through 2017 and 2018, with larger profits in the future.
"Unfortunately, the administrators of the Sika board have up to now maintained their opposition to the operation, overstepping their powers and
this despite Saint-Gobain's repeated attempts to reach an agreement," its statement said.
Representatives of the Burkard-Schenkers have long insisted that they are entitled to sell their stake at whatever price they deem fair.
Saint-Gobain said it was waiting for the Swiss courts to uphold the rights of the founder's heirs and that it remained determined to finalize the