UPDATE 1-Saint-Gobain CEO rules out Sika mortar business integration
(Updates Friday's story with comment from an interview published on Saturday)
ZURICH Dec 20 (Reuters) - Saint-Gobain is not prepared to combine its mortar business with that of takeover target Sika, the head of the French building materials group said in a newspaper on Friday, despite a walkout threat by the Swiss company's management.
The family that owns a controlling stake in chemicals business Sika has agreed to sell its shares to Saint-Gobain, but Sika's board and management have said they will quit if the sale goes through in its current form.
Sika's management laid out its opposition to the deal on Wednesday and outlined several alternatives in a presentation on the company's website, including the integration of both companies' mortar operations.
Asked if such an arrangement was possible, Saint-Gobain Chief Executive and Chairman Pierre-Andre de Chalendar told Swiss business paper Finanz und Wirtschaft: "No, we will not do that, it is not necessary to utilise the synergies."
Sika management has argued that such a move would lead to savings of 150 million euros ($183.44 million).
A Saint-Gobain representative confirmed de Chalendar's comments.
In a separate interview with the paper, Sika CEO Jan Jenisch said that management remains open to constructive discussions with Saint-Gobain.
If the deal does go through, de Chalendar said that Sika would retain some independence. "We're not targeting a full integration (of Sika)," he was quoted as saying.
In a further interview published on Saturday, de Chalendar expanded on this point, telling Le Temps that Sika's headquarters would remain in Switzerland, and it would maintain its brand and corporate culture.
A representative for Saint-Gobain was not immediately available to confirm these comments. ($1 = 0.8177 euros) (Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Katharina Bart; Additional reporting by Natalie Huet in Paris; Editing by David Goodman and Elaine Hardcastle)