Updated on Friday, 17 September 2021 – 18:13
The gas company’s board of directors sees IFM’s price as “reasonable” given the “impact” of the decree on the sector, which is “impractical” to size
The third vice president, Teresa Ribera, last Tuesday in the SenateANGEL DE ANTONIOMUNDO
The government’s “ hack ” to the electricity sector makes the great takeover of the moment in Spain cheaper, that of the Australian fund IFM on the Naturgy gas group, considered strategic for the State. Naturgy’s board of directors has communicated to the National Securities Market Commission that it finally considers “reasonable” the price offered by IFM of 22.07 euros per share, “in current circumstances”. And these circumstances are, according to the official statement, that “the Council warns of the possible impacts derived from the regulatory decisions adopted or announced after the Council of Ministers of September 14, 2021 and that have a material nature. “That is, the decree promoted by the third vice president, Teresa Ribera, has a serious impact on their accounts and warns that “its validity may be reviewed by the courts.”
How much has this decree weakened the value of Naturgy? “The Board informs that the company is analyzing the effects and potential economic, accounting and other impacts of said measures, toAlthough at this time it is impractical to size them due to the aforementioned uncertainties and the difficulty of still modeling the impact on the business. All this could affect the effective fulfillment of the Strategic Plan 2021-25 “.
Despite all this uncertainty, the main shareholders represented on the board of directors agree not to sell to IFM, which means that Criteria, the holding company of the Fundacin la Caixa, will continue as the main shareholder with more than 26% of the capital. Nor do the international funds GIP and CVC show any intention to sell for now. However, IFM is more likely to achieve its goal of becoming one of the first shareholders and entering the board of directors with at least 17% of the capital, following the possible departure of investors due to the regulatory uncertainty introduced by the Government. .
The Australian group does not give up its partial takeover of Naturgy after the decree, but it does see more possibilities of entering at a price that the leadership of the gas company does not see attractive, but it has had to assume as reasonable. In any case, the council that presides Francisco Reyns He points out in the statement that he is not sure that IFM will enter with two directors, as is his aspiration, and slides that it should have offered more money to earn such a presence, which would give it “significant influence.”
Knowledgeable sources assure that Reyns and the directors are not going to sell their shares either and the statement coldly points out that “it is up to the shareholders to decide whether or not to accept the Offer, depending on their particular interests, risk tolerance and investment time horizon. “.
This $ 5 billion takeover bid is undergoing a long process. It was announced last January, but it was not until last August when the Government gave its authorization with conditions for the Australian fund to try to enter Naturgy, the country’s gas leader and owner of important strategic assets for the Spanish energy system. The announcement provoked a reaction from the Fundacin la Caixa, chaired by Isidro Fain, which decided, instead of selling, to increase its stake. With its decision, the main beneficiaries of the OPA will not be Spanish investors but foreign funds that can take advantage of the current regulatory risk to sell.
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