Saint-Gobain Takeover of Sika Dealt a Fresh Blow by Court Ruling

Saint-Gobain hit a new roadblock to its plan to buy a 16 percent stake with majority voting rights

Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA, the French building materials maker battling in courts to acquire Sika AG, saw the likelihood of a quick resolution to the spat fade and replaced by the prospect of a years-long legal dispute.

Saint-Gobain hit a new roadblock to its plan to buy a 16 percent stake with majority voting rights for $2.7 billion from Sika’s founding Burkard family, custodians of the Swiss chemicals maker for more than a century. The Burkards lost an appeal to overturn a move by Sika to restrict their voting rights, meaning the family can’t simply oust executives blocking the deal.
The decision by descendants of Sika founder Kasper Winkler to exit, through their investment vehicle Schenker-Winkler Holding, has led to a deepening battle inside courtrooms. It’s taken an increasingly acrimonious tone, with multiple actions between the family and Saint-Gobain on one side, and Sika management and high profile shareholders including Threadneedle Investments on the other. The other investors think they are being left out of the deal.
“We assume that SWH will again appeal against this decision with the Supreme Court, i.e. the last legal instance,” Torsten Wyss, an analyst at UBS AG, said in a note Friday. “Getting a final legal decision by the Supreme Court typically takes one to three years in our view.”