BERN: The Saint-Gobain cleared a key hurdle in its bid for Swiss adhesives maker Sika, under a court ruling on Tuesday.
Saint-Gobain does not have to make a public takeover offer before purchasing a controlling interest in the company, the Swiss Administrative Court ruled. Minority shareholders in Sika, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, have bitterly fought the takeover bid.
Saint-Gobain agreed to purchase the 16.1 percent stake in Sika held by the Burkard-Schenker family, which founded the company, for 2.75 billion francs ($2.86 billion). The founding family holds a particularly powerful class of shares.
It means that if Saint-Gobain’s purchase of these shares goes through, the French firm would control 52.4 percent of voting rights in Sika. Sika’s minority shareholders have lashed the offer, accused Sika’s founding family of disregarding the company’s interests and engaged in a protracted battle in court.
They lost that battle on Tuesday, in a decision that Switzerland’s Administrative Court said was final and not subject to appeal.