Clariant terminates governance agreement with SABIC

Band John Revill

ZURICH, May 17 (Reuters)Clariant CLN.S and its major shareholder Saudi Basic Industries Corporation 2010.SE (SABIC) are to terminate their so-called “governance agreement”, following the Swiss chemicals company’s upcoming annual general meeting.

The two parties will no longer form a group regarding the allocation of voting rights, Clariant said on Tuesday.

The deal was signed in September 2018, shortly after SABIC acquired a 24.99% stake in Clariant. It now has a 31.5% stake, according to Refinitiv data.

It defined SABIC’s position as a strategic reference shareholder and confirmed Clariant’s independence as a listed company under Swiss corporate governance.

There have been rumors in the Swiss media regarding Clariant and SABIC, ranging from a full Saudi takeover to a sale of their stake in Clariant.

“The Board of Directors will continue to drive Clariant’s purpose-driven strategy with the management team, focusing on the customer, innovation, sustainability and people to achieve our profitable growth objectives for 2025,” President Guenther von Au said in a statement.

“We are confident in SABIC’s support in the spirit built over the years.”

Separately, Clariant also announced that it will release its deferred fourth quarter earnings report on May 19.

The report was delayed following allegations by a whistleblower that some staff manipulated accounts in 2020 and 2021 to help meet financial targets.

The company found no impact to previously reported sales and cash following the conclusion of its investigation last month.

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Paul Carrel and Rashmi Aich)

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Helen D. Jessen