ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss family that controls chemicals business Sika SIK.VX said it is seeking to overturn several decisions made at a recent investor meeting over a 2.75 billion Swiss franc ($2.88 billion) takeover by French rival Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA).
The Burkard-Schenker family decided in December to sell its stake, but faces a protracted legal and regulatory battle with Sika’s management and much of its board, which are seeking to block the deal.
On Sunday, the family’s holding firm said it had filed a suit in Baar, Switzerland, where Sika is based, after having its voting rights clipped at 5 percent during an April 15 shareholder meeting. The move had hampered the family’s efforts to push through a deal with Saint-Gobain.
The Burkard-Schenker family owns just over 16 percent of Sika’s shares, but holds a majority of the company’s voting rights because of a dual-stock system.
The holding firm through which the family runs its business interests said it hoped Sika’s management and board would forgo arbitration, the first step in legal proceedings, in order that the dispute can be heard in cantonal court instead.
“It should also be in the interest of Sika to accelerate this process and put an end to the current uncertainty quickly.” the family said in a statement.
Though the family suffered a setback at the recent investor meeting, it did receive shareholder backing for its proposal to hold another shareholder meeting on July 24.
Reporting by Katharina Bart; Editing by Rosalind Russell