The Swiss competition commission (Comco) has authorized the control of Swiss chemical company by construction materials giant Saint-Gobain, the French company announced in a press release on Tuesday.
The ruling by Comco follows a similar decision by the European Commission in July 2015, following approvals by US and Chinese authorities, Saint-Gobain said.
A spokesman from Comco was not immediately available to confirm the company’s announcement which comes after minority shareholders have bitterly opposed the takeover bid.
Earlier this month, the Swiss Administrative court ruled that Saint-Gobain does not have to make a public takeover offer before purchasing a controlling interest in the company.
Saint-Gobain had agreed to purchase the 16.1 percent stake in Sika held by the Burkhard-Schenker family, which founded the company, for 2.75 billion francs ($2.86 billion).
The founding family holds a powerful class of controlling shares.
The Bill and Melina Gates Foundation Trust is among the minority shareholders against the takeover who have accused Sika’s founding family of disregarding the company’s interests.
“The Foundation Trust will continue to defend their shareholder rights and oppose the ill-advised planned transaction that was structured to serve only the interests of Schenker-Winkler Holding AG (the Burkard family) and Saint-Gobain,” Cascade Investments and the Gates Foundation Trust said in statements at the beginning of the month.
“The proposed transaction makes no strategic sense, is an affront to good corporate governance and is not in the interest of Sika’s business, employees, customers or public bearer shareholders,” the two groups said.
“Cascade and the Gates Foundation will continue to protect their investment in Sika and oppose the transaction until reasonableness prevails, even if that requires a multi-year battle.”
Saint-Gobain maintains the merger will be good for both companies with larger profits and synergies worth about €100 million through next year and 2018.
But company said on Tuesday: “In authorizing the transaction without conditions, these decisions confirm the industrial logic of reconciliation between the two groups.”
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?