Sika AG was founded in 1910 by Kaspar Winkler. It is a specialty chemical company headquartered in Baar, Switzerland. Today the company has more than 17,000 employees, subsidiaries in 93 countries, and an annual sales turnover of CHF 5.49 billion (2015).
Saint-Gobain, the French industrials group is seeking to acquire a controlling share stake in Sika from descendants of the founding Burkard family. However they are facing stiff resistance from the other shareholders and the management. Saint-Gobain has already struck the deal to buy the family stake for CHF 2.8 billion ($2.9 billion).
Recently the board of this Swiss industrial giant has moved to limit the voting rights of the controlling Burkard family to 5%. Interestingly the family stake comprises 52% of the voting rights but just 16% of the share capital. Other large Sika shareholders opposing the deal include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and Cascade Investment. Earlier in December of last year the Burkard family tried to unsuccessfully replace members of the management team that opposed the deal.