Saint-Gobain Closer to Sika Takeover

Swiss competition council grants acquisition approval.
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The months-long legal battle over European building materials supplier Saint-Gobain's proposed takeover of Swiss chemicals company and competitor Sika cleared a key hurdle this month when the Swiss competition council known as COMCO approved the deal.

That milestone followed a July ruling from the European Commission and a March ruling from the Swiss Takeover Board allowing the acquisition to go through.

Announced last year, the takeover has been tied up in courts ever since. The dispute centers on a decision by the Burkard-Schenker family, which owns 16.1 percent of Sika's capital and 52.4 percent of its voting rights through Schenker-Winkler Holding AG, to sell its controlling stake in Sika to Saint-Gobain.

Saint-Gobain said it would not pursue Sika's remaining shares but did plan to further develop the company once the acquisition has closed, but Sika leaders vehemently opposed the deal.

It's the second big M&A news item for Saint-Gobain this month; the company recently announced that it agreed to sell Norandex, its distribution business in the United States, to roofing and siding products distributor ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, WI.

The company said the sale is in line with Saint-Gobain Building Distribution’s strategy of optimizing its portfolio by divesting noncore assets and focusing on bolstering its leading positions in Europe and Brazil.

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