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SEPI finalizes the stock brokerage contract to enter Telefónica with national and foreign banks

MADRID, 25 Feb.

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SEPI finalizes the stock brokerage contract to enter Telefónica with national and foreign banks


The State Company of Industrial Participations (SEPI), dependent on the Ministry of Finance, finalizes the stock market intermediation contract to proceed with the Government's entry into Telefónica through the acquisition of up to 10% of the company's shares, a process in which both national and foreign financial entities are being surveyed.

This contract is "about to be awarded", as market sources have told Europa Press, who have also pointed out that although foreign banks appear on the shortlist, it would be Spanish financial entities such as BBVA and Caixabank that would be best positioned. to finally execute the stock brokerage of the operation.

In that sense, it is worth remembering that both BBVA and Caixabank are part of the so-called 'stable core' of Telefónica's shareholding, since they have around 5% each.

On the other hand, the sources consulted by Europa Press have also revealed that the SEPI had already awarded the advisory contract to carry out the Government's landing in Telefónica, although the name of the financial entity that will carry it out has not been made known. cape.

In this context, Europa Press has contacted the SEPI to ask about this matter, although the organization has avoided commenting on this procedure due to its confidentiality.

The Minister of Economy, Commerce and Business, Carlos Body, stated last Friday that the Government is studying the details on how to carry out the specific financing of the purchase of up to 10% of Telefónica by SEPI, in parallel to the negotiations on the Budgets for 2024.

"It is an operation that was decided a few weeks ago and we are studying the details," said the minister in statements to Bloomberg TV reported by Europa Press.

Body added that this analysis is being done in parallel to the negotiation of the Budgets for this year.

On the other hand, the Minister for Digital Transformation and Public Service, José Luis Escrivá, also referred to this operation last Friday. "I have worked in a bank for ten years, in 'corporate investment banking', and therefore regarding this type of operations we say that we must leave it to those who have structured it to deploy it at their own pace and with maximum discretion," He limited himself to evaluating the Digital Transformation headline at a breakfast at the Nueva Economía Fórum.

On December 19, the Council of Ministers ordered SEPI to purchase up to 10% of Telefónica's share capital with the aim of providing the Spanish operator with greater shareholder stability and contributing to the safeguarding of its strategic capabilities.

"SEPI will proceed to carry out the procedures and actions that allow the process to be launched to, minimizing the impact on the price, complete the acquisition of the necessary volume of shares," the Government said then.

"The presence of a public shareholder in Telefónica will reinforce its shareholder stability and, consequently, to preserve strategic capabilities of essential importance for national interests," the Ministry of Finance stated a few weeks ago.

The Government argued in December that the entry into the capital of the telecommunications company is in line with that of other European countries, since Germany participates in the capital of Deutsche Telekom, France in that of Orange and Italy adopted an agreement last summer to increase up to 20% its participation in the company that brings together the fixed telephony assets of Telecom Italia.

The Spanish Government's decision to enter Telefónica came a few months after the Saudi 'teleco' STC - 64% controlled by the Government of Saudi Arabia through the sovereign fund PIF (Public Investment Fund) - burst into surprise form in Telefónica's shareholding with 9.9% of the company's share capital.

This operation, which was forged without Telefónica's management being aware, consisted of the acquisition of 4.9% of shares directly and 5% through financial derivatives.

The regulations in force in Spain regarding foreign investments in strategic listed companies state that the Executive must give permission to non-EU investors who intend to acquire more than 10% of a company of this type.

However, this threshold is lowered to 5% in the case of companies with interests in the field of national defense, such as Telefónica.

When the purchase of 10% of Telefónica by SEPI is completed, the state-owned company will become the operator's main shareholder, ahead of STC and the stable core of Telefónica shareholders, mainly formed by BBVA and CaixaBank.

Likewise, when SEPI acquires 10% of Telefónica it will have the possibility of acquiring a seat on the company's board of directors.