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(Bloomberg) -- The Burkard family, founders of adhesive maker Sika AG, has called on Switzerland’s takeover panel to help push through its planned sale of a stake to Cie. de Saint- Gobain SA and overcome management resistance to the deal.
The takeover panel will review whether the Burkard family’s planned sale of a 16.1 percent stake carrying majority voting rights requires the French buyer to make a public tender offer for the rest of the company, according to a Sika statement.
The planned 2.75 billion-franc ($3 billion) transaction has descended into a legal battle that pits the family and Saint- Gobain against Sika’s management and minority investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
While the Burkards look to monetize their stake to accomodate a now enlarged family, Sika Chief Executive Officer Jan Jenisch and Chairman Paul Haelg are leading internal resistance to the deal amid concern that Saint-Gobain are effectively getting control of a competitor with just a minority stake.
“The move must be seen as a precuationary measure,” Andreas Durisch, spokesman for the family’s holding company Schenker Winkler Holding AG said by phone. Ethos, which is leading a group of Swiss funds against the deal, may file a similar request, he added.
A decision on the deal risks being years away as it winds its way through the courts. At stake is the future of a Swiss company with more than 16,000 workers and industry-leading margins.
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