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Saint-Gobain to drop its shareholding in Swiss chemical maker Sika

Sika has more than 300 plants worldwide (Keystone)

The French building materials and distribution group Saint-Gobain has announced the sale of its 10.75% stake in the capital of the Swiss chemical manufacturer Sika.

Saint-Gobain said in a press releaseexternal link on Tuesday that it would dispose of “of its entire stake in Sikaexternal link of approximately 15.2 million shares, representing 10.75% of Sika’s share capital”, without mentioning any financial amount.

According to an AFP calculation, at the current Sika share price the transaction would be valued at some €2.5 billion (CHF2.65 billion). The result and the final terms of the private placement will be announced on Wednesday “at the latest”, according to Saint-Gobain’s press release.

Sika, a specialist in sealants and adhesives with origins dating back to 1910, employs some 25,000 people and has more than 300 plants worldwide. The group, headquartered in Baar, canton Zug, achieved record sales of CHF8.1 billion ($8.38 billion) in the financial year 2019.

Long conflict

In May 2018 Sika and Saint-Gobain reached an agreement to end an almost four-year legal disputeexternal link.

The complex deal saw Saint-Gobain acquiring all outstanding shares of Schenker-Winkler Holding (SWH) from the Burkard family, heirs to the founder of Sika, for a purchase price of CHF3.22 billion.

The dispute over Sika had been raging since 2014 when Saint-Gobain offered CHF2.75 billion to buy the Burkhard’s controlling stake – comprising just 16% of the share capital but 53% of voting rights. Sika’s board objected, and the warring sides were locked in a stalemate in what became an expensive battle in the courts and a rare example of Swiss corporate enmity spilling into the public eye.

Full story here
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