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HomeLatest NewsIs there any 'Spanish-style' solution for Naturgy, Talgo or Telefónica?

Is there any ‘Spanish-style’ solution for Naturgy, Talgo or Telefónica?

Date: July 18, 2024 Time: 04:12:04

One of the great leaders of the Ibex already announced just three months ago that we were going to see a cascade of State interventions in some of the main strategic Spanish companies, with Telefónica in the sights of the Arabs of STC and an energy sector in on . and prisoner of a failed reconversion due to the pressures of the Ukrainian war and Ribera’s ‘green’ demands. With the price of electricity controlled and the investment projects in renewables already started accelerating to the maximum so as not to stop being profitable overnight, the commitment of the Emirati group Taga to enter the capital of Naturgy has revived this transformation pending the entire sector, with a great unknown on the table: Will the State be able to facilitate or implement a balanced solution that is up to the circumstances and does not enter into senseless public interventionism, or will it have to be left at the mercy of the What does foreign capital want to do with the country’s large systemic companies?

Given the magnitude of the operation proposed for naturgy and its implications in a listed market, until now there are only a few certainties and many conjectures. We are facing one of the largest takeover bids in the recent history of our country, to the point that there is no group in Spain with sufficient financial muscle to reach the amount close to 25,000 million that is being talked about. That is to say, only a consortium like Taqa and its petrodollars is capable of putting that sum on the table now. Internally, the investment arm of the La Caixa Foundation is capable of confronting it to guarantee, at least, two things: a position of control within the new shareholder structure of what will be the new Naturgy, and the security that the decision-making in our country and the ‘Spanishness’ of the company are not in danger.

The formulas may be various, but they all involve having the support of the Government, not so much for it to put public money into the operation, but rather for it to use the coercive power of the legislation on strategic investments so that the gas supply is not in danger. . The millions of customers that the company supports, nor the proper functioning of the agreement with Algeria to guarantee it. The shareholder agreements that are negotiated, once the selling funds reach an agreement with the buyer, are the key to this operation internally, given the fact that other Spanish buyers do not appear overnight. In the case of Telefónica, for example, the problem is not that STC launches a takeover bid, but that there is no more muscle than Criteria or SEPI to enter an operator that has just turned one hundred years old, but that has a great future and the stock at a low price.

Naturgy can be delisted from the stock market and an agreement with Taqa can be closed so that its weight in the capital is similar to that of Criteria; It is possible not to eliminate Naturgy from the stock market but limit the power of the emirates with pacts that limit their control in decision-making; A joint takeover bid could even be made between both parties (Criteria and Taqa), with an agreement that ensures the appreciated ‘Spanishness’ of the gas company… The corporate and financial engineering is underway, and it is certain that Criteria, with Isidro Fainé and Ángel Simón in charge and after more than a month preparing the outcome, they already have all the scenarios scrutinized. What is clear is that the stage of the GIP and CVC funds has ended (waiting to know what the Australians of IFM, who are left with their 15%, do), stopping the takeover is not going to be as easy as It seems and the resulting company is going to be different.

There are two more certainties to take into account: the first, that Naturgy is no longer what Gas Natural used to be, that company that hired and had all the support of the Arab Emirates at the time, and that gradually broke with his immediate surroundings within Criteria. And the second, that the new suitors, Taqa, are not an investment fund in search of maximum profitability to exit the capital as soon as they have accumulated enough money. The industrial and technological capacity (not just financial) of the Arab company, its privileged relationship with our strategic neighbor Morocco or the commitment it also maintains in key future issues such as water management, make it a more attractive partner than others. . for a Spanish gas company that, after the end of its Geminis project and the dependence on the gas price imposed by Algeria, was not on the best of paths.

What is missing from this puzzle? We return to the beginning, a broad-minded Government that is capable of implementing or facilitating a ‘Spanish-style’ solution that is as close as possible to the interests of the entire energy sector. Minister Montero’s subconscious betrayed her when she said that she was expecting “Spanish” capital and more “transparent” than that of the Emirates for Naturgy, but has it occurred to anyone to pick up the phone and start talking to that possible Spanish capital? to see? If you can contribute something that completes the puzzle and avoids a debacle?

In Telefónica, 2,000 million of public money is going to the metro to deal with STC; In Talgo they are looking – without much success – for an industrial partner, so as not to also have to put in public money (although the amount is smaller) and not have it all controlled by the Hungarian partner under the guidance of Orban; Nobody yet knows what Economía and Moncloa are thinking about Naturgy, but SEPI’s money is finite and may be necessary for many other things, such as investing in electricity or gas networks with which to relieve the sector and users, among others. many other options.

You can talk to the ‘sheikhs’, so that they are there and contribute, and win but do not dominate, but it is very complicated to do. Faced with this, I am sure that there are Spanish protagonists in the sector with enough cash on hand to cushion the blow and help CriteriaCaixa in an endeavor in which it should never be alone. It is evident that Spanish companies are very attractive for foreign capital – and there is no reason to close upon their arrival – but more than statements from the US or the Seville Fair must be made so that they can succeed when situations arise. that do not suit anyone.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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