Southeastern Asset Management gets three percent Sika stake, backs management-Reuters

(Reuters) U.S.-based investment manager Southeastern Asset Management has built a 3 percent stake in Swiss chemicals group Sika (SIK.VX) and supports the company’s management in a row over a planned takeover by France’s Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA), it said.

“The stake in Sika is held in an investment vehicle associated with Nassef Sawiris, Southeastern principles, and other strategic investors,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The wealthy Burkard-Schenker family’s holding company had its Sika voting rights clipped at 5 percent during an April 15 shareholder meeting, hampering the family’s efforts to push through a planned 2.75 billion Swiss franc ($2.96 billion)takeover by French rival Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA).

“Southeastern believes the sale of the family’s 16 percent stake to Saint-Gobain at an 80 percent premium without a concurrent offer to other shareholders disadvantages all non-family Sika stakeholders –- its employees, customers, and in particular, other owners -– and should not proceed as currently structured,” the statement said.