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The division in the Naturgy board slows down the arrival of Gutiérrez-Orrantia as CEO

Date: June 17, 2024 Time: 03:28:10

Naturgy’s board of directors met this Tuesday to study the new distribution of powers in the gas company and the uncertainty regarding the role that the number two of the president, Francisco Reynés, will have is what would have stopped Ignacio Gutiérrez-Orrantia from signing as CEO after almost realizing his appointment for granted over the past week.

Gutiérrez-Orrantia’s “withdrawal” transpired hours before the 12 members of the council met after pressure from the CVC Capital Partners and Global Infrastructure Management (GIP) funds, which between the two hold 40% of the capital, so that Reynés delegate part of its functions. They also analyzed the semi-annual accounts, which the company intends to present to the market before the end of July.

As Bloomberg advanced and La Información has been able to confirm in financial sources, there was no type of counteroffer from Citi and the executive communicated his decision to Reynés himself on Sunday. For his part, on Monday he ratified his continuity to the leadership of Citi and yesterday he did so to his most direct team of collaborators. Gutiérrez-Orrantia has also been weighed down by the fact that more than 2,000 people living in 50 different countries have their burden. Naturgy’s main shareholders agreed on the director’s profile to designate him as number two in the group. However, a formal decision from the board was not expected to come out, but rather a debate on the creation of the CEO position.

After days of noise, in a three-line statement, Criteria Caixa, the company’s largest shareholder with 26.7%, came out in defense of Reynés. “Criteria, Naturgy’s largest shareholder, confirms its confidence in the company’s management team headed by its president Francisco Reynés and will support his proposals aimed at being able to face the important challenges of the company in the coming years,” reads the letter from the holding investor. of the investment arm of the La Caixa Foundation, chaired by Isidro Faine.

The profile sought by the funds is financial to face a possible capital outflow. It has been speculating for some time with the will of GIP to get out of the shareholding of the energy company, which it reached in 2017, with the aim of bringing out the capital gains that it accumulates. The fund saw the opportunity in ‘Géminis’, the project to split Naturgy into two listed companies that has been buried practically since the day it was announced, on February 10, 2022. The geopolitical context stopped any type of movement and, after many rumors about possible shareholding movements, in November last year the funds wanted to calm the waters by ensuring their “investor commitment” with the 2021-2025 strategic plan.

However, now at Naturgy a new horizon is opening up to be defined. Gutiérrez-Orrantia had everyone’s approval for being a well-known man in the house: he advised on the company’s latest strategic plan and prepared the board of directors’ report on the IFM takeover bid last year. The Appointments, Remuneration and Corporate Governance committee has met several times in recent months to discuss the return of a CEO. Naturgy is the only energy company on the Ibex 35 that concentrates the figures of chairman and CEO in the same person. Iberdrola was the last to separate the charges, although Ignacio Sánchez Galán continues with all executive powers.

Reynés was re-elected to the position just a few months ago for another four years, but he has been weighed down by the renegotiation of the supply contract with Algeria and the impossibility of removing the split in two. It must be remembered that Criteria avoided supporting the salary of the manager and the rest of the board of directors by abstaining from the meeting. Industrial engineer, mechanical specialty, from the Polytechnic University of Barcelona, ​​and an MBA from IESE, he has been president of Naturgy since February 2018 and for his signing he made it a condition to have 100% of the executive functions. Fainé, who did not have them, took over as his trusted man when Reynés was vice president and CEO of Abertis. His appointment also meant the departure of the then CEO of Gas Natural Fenosa, Rafael Villaseca.

‘Gemini’

Naturgy’s objective is to split into two companies. One of the two groups will manage the liberalized businesses in an integrated manner (Naturgy MarketsCo): the development of renewable energies; 11 million clients) of gas supplies. For its part, the other group will bring together all the regulated infrastructures (Naturgy Networks) for energy distribution and transmission. The asset base is more than 155,000 km of electricity networks, 135,000 km of gas networks and 16 million connection points (present in 6 countries).

* 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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