(Reuters) – French building materials company Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA) said it has extended an agreement with the Burkard-Schenker family that would see it take control of Switzerland’s Sika (SIK.VX) in order to give it time to complete the deal in the face of opposition.
The French group agreed in December to buy from the Burkard-Schenker family a 16.1 percent stake that carries 52.4 percent of Sika’s voting rights, enough for control and a far cheaper option than buying the whole company.
The Swiss chemicals firm’s management and many shareholders have objected to the move, arguing that Saint-Gobain is abusing the company’s bylaws and that the extra voting rights are not transferable.
“Saint-Gobain is determined to go through with this transaction and is engaged in a long-term strategy,” a spokeswoman for the group said. “We can be patient if we need to.”
The French company said the agreement with the family relating to the sale of the shares of Schenker-Winkler Holding, which holds a controlling stake in Sika, had now been extended by at least six months until June 30, 2016, with an option to extend it further.
(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and James Regan; Editing by Michel Rose)