(Reuters) – Swiss chemicals company Sika said on Friday that its controlling shareholder, at loggerheads with management over a disputed takeover by France’s Saint-Gobain, had filed a legal challenge seeking the removal of several board members.
Management and most of the Sika board are already locked in a court battle with the wealthy Burkard-Schenker family, who control the company through a more powerful class of shares than retail investors own.
Last December, Saint-Gobain agreed to buy a 16.1 percent stake from the Burkard-Schenker family that carries 52.4 percent of Sika’s voting rights — enough for control and, at 2.75 billion Swiss francs ($2.83 billion), a far cheaper option than buying the whole company.
The family called a shareholder meeting in July with the aim of removing some board members and electing a replacement aligned with them to secure the sale of their stake to Saint-Gobain.
But it failed at the meeting to win board changes to try to push through the takeover by Saint-Gobain.
Schenker-Winkler Holding (SWH), the Burkard-Schenker family’s holding company, has now challenged decisions taken at the July meeting and is seeking the removal of three independent board members, the company said on Friday.
SWH already has a similar legal challenge pending before the cantonal court of Zug regarding April board elections.
“Sika remains convinced that the absorption of Sika by a large conglomerate … lacks any industrial logic,” the company said in a statement, referring to Saint-Gobain. ($1 = 0.9717 Swiss francs) ($1 = 0.9720 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; editing by Adrian Croft)
Synthomer announced the appointment of Lily Liu as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Lily will take up the role no later than 1 July 2022, succeeding Steve Bennett who announced in August 2021 that he would step down once a suitable successor was in place.
Westlake Chemical (Houston, Texas) has reached agreement to acquire Hexion’s (Columbus, Ohio) epoxy business for approximately $1.2 billion. Westlake says the deal enhances chlorine and olefins integration and brings attractive opportunities in high-growth epoxy markets, including wind turbine blades, automotive lightweighting, aerospace and consumer coating applications.
Tetra Pak Iberia is launching a gamified app experience in partnership with digital studio Appetite Creative. The technology is enabled though scannable QR codes printed on drinking cartons and available to all brands in Southern Europe.