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Saint-Gobain remains committed to deal to take over Sika

November 7, 2016
Chemical Value Chain

Saint-Gobain remains committed to its deal to take over Sika (SIK.S) by buying out the controlling stake held by the founding family of the Swiss firm, the French company’s chief financial officer told Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.

Guillaume Texier said he was confident of a successful outcome despite a setback last week when a Swiss court ruled against the family and in favor of Sika’s board, which is opposing the deal.

The executive said Saint-Gobain fully supported the Burkard family’s decision to appeal against the verdict, which he was confident would be overturned by a higher court.

“We are prepared for a long legal dispute,” Texier said in the interview published on Saturday.

“We knew it was highly probable that Sika or other parties would use legal means. We are however covered in terms of time with an option that allows us to extend the contract with the family until the end of 2018.”

Saint-Gobain was prepared to wait because it so far has not paid anything, while Sika was becoming more attractive because of the rise in its stock market value, he said.

The row erupted nearly two years ago when Saint-Gobain offered 2.75 billion Swiss francs ($2.84 billion) for the 16 percent stake held by the Burkards, which would give it control of Sika because it comes with nearly 53 percent of the voting rights.

Sika’s board responded by reducing the family’s voting power to 5 percent, blocking the takeover. The move was contested by the Burkards but upheld by a court in Zug.

“As we said very clearly after the recent judgment we remain fully committed to the deal,” said Texier. “We are optimistic, patient and strongly believe that our common project will succeed.”

By John Revill

Source: Reuters

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