In a Power Point presentation covering 2014 full-year financials, French conglomerate Saint-Gobain’s management says its “commitment is irrevocable” to acquire a controlling interest in Swiss specialty chemical company Sika AG. “Consequently, we hope that those members of Sika’s management team who currently oppose the transaction will rethink their position and the radical steps they have taken which are detrimental to the group’s 17,000 employees,” management writes in the report.
“Saint-Gobain wishes to reassure Sika’s employees that their jobs are safe: no lay-offs due to restructuring associated with the transaction,” according to the financial report.
Saint-Gobain management contends in its report that as a publically listed company, certain members of Sika’s management and its board cannot:
—“Decide when and to whom shareholders can sell their shares; and
—Interpret the company’s bylaws differently depending on events or on the identity of the owners of one of its shareholders with the aim of stripping that shareholder of its rights.”
“Amidst all the media uproar following the announcement of the transaction, analysts’ opinions about an overreaction by the market went unheeded,” Saint-Gobain officials write in their full-year financial report.
“The steps taken by part of Sika’s management have led to a climate of uncertainty, which has been detrimental to certain Sika shareholders who sold their shares, while enabling other investors to capitalize on share price volatility,” according to Saint-Gobain’s report.
Sika’s management and board of directors continue to speak out in opposition to the deal.
“An ever growing number of Sika shareholders are actively opposing Saint-Gobain’s plans to take control the company in a hostile takeover. Only ten weeks after Saint-Gobain’s intentions became public, shareholders representing more than half of Sika’s capital have explicitly declared their support for the course adopted by the board of directors and management of Sika,” according to a company statement.
Sales for Saint-Gobain came in at $45.95 billion USD (€41.05 billion EU) for the year, down 1.7 percent from $46.67 billion USD (€41.7 billion EU). Organic sales were up 2.2 percent for the company.
On a like-for-like basis, flat glass sales were up 3.4 percent for the year.
“The automotive flat glass business continued to report small gains,” according to the report. “Healthy trading was confirmed in Asia and emerging countries, despite the slowdown in Brazil fuelled in particular by the downturn in the automotive market.”
To view Saint-Gobain’s power point presentation, click here.