Why Saint-Gobain has achieved with Sika a very good deal, according to its CEO

Challenges : From April 2015, you will be unable to convince the management of Sika to give you the keys to this nugget switzerland which you were hoping to take control. Finally you waive ?

Pierre-André de Chalendar : It is true that at the beginning, I was hoping to achieve the return of the leaders of Sika, very hostile to the deal that we had made in ensuring 17 % of the shares and 52 % of the voting rights of the company with the family Burkard. It is now more than three years, and the deal became more and more difficult to execute, with the distrust, which was passed in the different strata of management. And we had legal risk growing as we neared the end of the period of the option that we had granted the family Burkard.

You didn’t get the end of 2014 of money on the table ?

No, it was all the beauty of operation : Saint-Gobain had a free option, but was not exposed, contrary to everything that has been written here or there. And the way in which we came out of this situation, in fact, a very good deal, financial and strategic.

How did you unbuckled your position ?

We finally repurchased the 17 % of Sika to 3.2 billion swiss francs [2.6 billion], which is 500 million more than envisaged in December 2014, the company has performed well since. This shows, in passing, that we had the nose when we are interested in it. And we have resold immediately 7 % of the shares in Sika, to 2.1 billion swiss francs, representing a premium of 57 % above market, which is the surrender of control. At the end of this double operation, we find ourselves with 10 % of Sika, a participation that has cost us 1.1 billion swiss francs, and which is valued today 1.9 billion. And the resale of the 7 % of Sika we can already show an impact of 600 million euros in the net income of Saint-Gobain.

You remove on a beautiful more-value : is not an operation to the Bolloré ?

No, because we keep 10 % of Sika, we are the largest shareholder, our relationship with the leaders is pacified, and we can open the door to cooperation in the future between our two groups. In short, we still have a foot in the door, and we keep the financial flexibility necessary to pursue our strategy of investments and acquisitions elsewhere.

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