Let me start by congratulating the Sika Board, management and all employees for another year of progress and strong performance. The Q1 performance, the full year 2015 and the new strategy for 2018, all stand as a tribute to the excellence of the business, its culture, leadership and employees.
Our confidence in and support to all 17,281 odd of you has been borne out time and again. So let me re-affirm our support and commitment to you. Our views about the St Gobain transaction and the harm it will do are a matter of public record. Nothing has changed. Repeated analysis confirms that.
We are a leading institutionalinvestor responsible for ~ CHF436 billion in investments. We have been a shareholder of Sika for 16 years. So let me say a little bit about how this situation affects views about inward investment into Switzerland and the Swiss capital markets.
The transaction between SWH and St Gobain, and the way it has been approached raised major concerns for all shareholders investing in Switzerland. The flaws and the harm of the deal and its implications saw a 30% hit to the Sika share price. Make no mistake: it was a clear reaction to that.
I am delighted that what was seen originally as a done deal now looks remote and unlikely. I say that with some confidence despite the increasingly desperate spin that you may hear. More significantly, Sika has become a test case for international investors. Is this a market we can trust and expect the rights of shareholders as a whole to be respected? As minorities, that is critical.
The belligerent, aggressive tactics pursued in selling out Sika to St Gobain raised very real questions about how the Swiss market would work. The attacks on the proper rule of governance, the role and duties of directors, the rights of shareholders as a whole have been similar to what we see in frontier emerging markets. Its pretty shocking.
Let me say now, and very clearly, the board of Sika AG and our independent directors have shown the world, and the whole investment community, what real and proper governance means. Bravo! The Swiss market as a whole owes you a debt of gratitude. What could have undermined investment into Switzerland has been turned from disaster to triumph of good governance.
My respect to each and everyone of you. And my thanks on behalf of the investment community.