The Swiss Cantonal Court of Zug has denied Schenker-Winkler Holding’s (SWH) request to uphold the company’s voting rights in Sika AG. SWH is owned by the Burkard family, which controls 16.1 percent of Sika’s capital with 52.4 percent in voting rights. SWH plans to sell its stake in Sika to French-conglomerate Saint-Gobain. The Sika board and management seeks to restrict the Burkard family’s voting rights to 5 percent given its desire to sell its Sika shares to Saint-Gobain.
SWH filed a lawsuit with the Zug court seeking to lift the limitation of its voting rights.
“In the proceedings regarding the restriction of voting rights, the Court of Zug has denied all requests of Schenker-Winkler Holding AG,” according to a statement released by Sika. “The board of Sika welcomes the decision and will analyze it in detail.”
“Saint-Gobain said the ruling by the Court of Zug did not change the fundamentals of the case,” according to a report.
The way the deal is set up, Saint-Gobain does not have to reimburse or buy the remaining shares in Sika to gain controlling voting interest in the company due to an opting-out clause, according to Sika’s investors. This means that the Burkard family, which owns the majority of voting rights in Sika, could sell its stake to Saint-Gobain without the rest of the shareholders benefiting from such a deal.
However, many of the remaining Sika investors, as well as the company’s board and management, have been vocal in their opposition to the deal.
The potential deal will be addressed during Sika’s regular annual shareholders meeting in April.