Chemical company Sika AG suffered a setback in its battle to prevent a takeover by France’s Saint-Gobain SA as the body governing acquisitions in Switzerland ruled in favor of the founding family’s plan to sell its interest.
The Swiss Takeover Board said Friday that it upheld a so-called opting-out clause that gives the Burkard family more than half of the company’s voting rights without triggering a mandatory offer for the rest of Sika’s shares.
The decision makes it more likely that the clause will be upheld if Saint-Gobain is successful in its attempt to seize control of Sika.
The Burkard family is trying to sell its stake to Saint-Gobain, giving the building materials giant control of Baar-based Sika. The Burkard’s stake, which is held by Schenker-Winkler Holding AG, represents around 53% of the company’s voting rights but only about 16% of its share capital.
The 2.75 billion Swiss franc ($2.82 billion) deal between the family and Saint-Gobain has angered other shareholders because the French company hasn’t offered to buy the rest of the company. The board and management of Sika, which makes chemicals additives for concrete and cement as well as adhesives for the automotive industry, has also opposed the planned takeover.
A court in Sika’s home canton of Zug is currently deliberating on the takeover.
By John Revill