Switzerland: Resistance to Saint-Gobain's offer to buy Swiss-based Sika has strengthened as a new group of minority shareholders said that they oppose the deal. Walter Gruebler, a former chairman of Sika's board, as well as other former board members, have said that they are backing the company's management in opposing the Saint-Gobain takeover attempt, Sika said in a statement. The stake held by those former board members represents 1% of Sika's equity.
"This transaction endangers the culture of a great Swiss family company that has been able to evolve over the decades and destroys value for Sika shareholders," said the minority shareholders. "Resistance, represented by the board and the management, is justified."
Sika's management and its board are fiercely fighting an agreement sealed between the Burkard family, which controls Sika and Saint-Gobain in December 2014. The family accepted an offer of Euro2.57bn for its holding company Schenker-Winkler Holding AG, one of Europe's biggest building-materials groups by revenue. The holding company currently holds 52.4% of the voting rights in Sika, but only 16.1% of the shares.
The sale would give Saint-Gobain control without having to make an offer for the remaining 83.9% owned by shareholders. The deal is unfair for minority shareholders, the management has said. Sika has said that shareholders representing more than 35% of its total capital have given their assurance that they support the board of directors in its efforts to fend off the takeover.