By Dr Andreas Moll, Matthias Bürge, Dr Christian Schönfeld, Charlotte Rupf

It was only recently, on May 11 2018 and after several years of costly litigation and publicly displayed animosities between the different parties involved, that the long running conflict regarding the control over the specialty chemical company for building and motor vehicle supplies SIKA based in Switzerland was settled in an overall agreement.

SIKA was controlled by the descendants of the company’s founder (the family shareholders). Formally, their shares were bundled together in a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which had no other assets and whose shares, in turn, were being held by the family shareholders. Together, the shares of the family shareholders held by the SPV represented roughly 16% of SIKA’s capital but conferred to them 52.4% of all voting rights and, generally speaking, the control over the company. Furthermore, the family shareholders were represented in the board of directors of SIKA.