Ref: IMD-7-2227

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2227

Order this case study


Peter Vogel

By Professor Peter VogelPeter Vogel and Anouk Lavoie Orlick

The longest corporate takeover battle in the history of Switzerland - and possibly the world - pitted Sika, a Swiss chemicals manufacturer, against Saint-Gobain, a French conglomerate. At the heart of the dispute was a family business. Sika was a very successful family-controlled firm whose fourth-generation descendants decided to sell their stake in the company. The sale created a quandary for Sika's board of directors, however. How could the board reconcile the wishes of the family owners with the interests of the other shareholders and the company itself? The case highlights the governance dilemma faced by Paul Halg, the Chairman of Sika's board of directors, and discloses how all parties came to an agreement after a protracted legal dispute lasting 41 months.

Learning Objective

  1. Highlight the importance of a strong board of directors including independent board members, especially in a conflicting situation
  2. Understand how to navigate turbulent times in a family business and develop the leadership traits needed to negotiate a fair solution
  3. Establish governance principles that protect and uphold the rights of all company stakeholders in an ownership transition phase
SettingsEurope, Switzerland
Sika, Chemicals
TypeField Research
Copyright©IMD 2021
Order this case study

Reference: IMD-7-2227

IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Copyright information

IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information related to case studies, please contact Case Services.


Information Center for additional information on IMD publications

Keep reading

Back to top