The chief executive of Swiss specialty chemicals company Sika does not see an amicable solution to Saint-Gobain’s hostile takeover attempt, now mired in Swiss courts, and will quit if it goes ahead, he said on Tuesday.
Sika’s management has been fighting since December 2014 against the takeover by the French company, which wants to buy the controlling stake held by Sika’s founding Burkard-Schenker family for 2.75 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 bln).
Sika’s opposition to the bid has won the support of other shareholders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust amid the company’s strong sales growth.
“The plans I have seen from Saint-Gobain are not good for Sika,” Chief Executive Jan Jenisch said at a company event in Zurich. “They will destroy our growth model and I will not be available for such plans.”
So far, the Swiss company has restricted the Burkard-Schenker family’s voting rights to block the deal. A court ruling is expected later this year, though the case may not be resolved for several years.
“It is frustrating, after some two years we hear nothing from Saint-Gobain,” Jenisch, a German national who has worked at Sika for 20 years, said. “I don’t see any amicable solution.”
Saint-Gobain, whose construction materials include glass, insulation, plasterboards and floor covering mortars, declined to comment on Tuesday.
The takeover has not distracted Sika from its focus, Jenisch said, adding all members of its board oppose the takeover.
Revenue grew 6.9 percent in the first half of 2016, while net profit increased nearly 25 percent.
Jenisch confirmed guidance for Baar-based Sika, which makes chemicals used in the automotive and construction industry, to increase sales by 6 to 8 percent this year.
The company is also expected to complete two small acquisitions this year in the range of up to 50 million francs each, Jenisch said.
Sika has made around 90 acquisitions in the last five years around the world.
($1 = 0.9769 Swiss francs)
By John Revill
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?