Saint-Gobain to acquire a Controlling Stake in Specialty Chemical Company Sika
Saint-Gobain, the French multinational corporation said that it planned to acquire a controlling stake in Sika, a construction chemicals group for about $2.83 billion (2.3 billion euros) and was putting its Verallia unit, the glass packaging unit, up for sale.
Sika AG's current majority shareholder, the Burkard family, decided to sell its controlling stake to Saint-Gobain through its holding Schenker Winkler Holding AG.
Switzerland- based Sika said that it did not support the change of control and that the company's management would resign if the deal went through. Sika added that the board neither sees industrial logic in the transaction nor any significant synergies for Sika. The company added that handing control to an industrial giant like Saint-Gobain would bring a fundamental change.
Pierre-Andre de Chalendar, CEO of Saint-Gobain said that he was surprised by Sika management's reaction, saying both companies had had "very constructive" discussions until the weekend. Saint-Gobain said it expected the deal, to close in the second half of 2015, if approved by antitrust regulators.
Saint-Gobain expects the deal to generate 100 million euros in annual synergies from 2017 and 180 million euros from 2019. By mid 2015, Saint-Gobain plans to sell the rest of Verallia after it sold the unit's North American unit to Ardagh earlier in 2014.
Chalendar said the group had received numerous marks of interest from funds as well as industrial companies for Verallia, which makes bottles for Dom Perignon champagne and jars for Nutella spread.
For years, Saint-Gobain has been looking to shed Verallia, to focus on construction products and higher-margin home, however previous attempts to sell or spin off the unit were dissatisfied by the financial crisis.
Founded in 1665, Saint-Gobain produced mirrors for the royal court of Versailles and is focusing on innovative building materials for which there is growing demand as the construction industry shifts its focus toward energy-efficient buildings.