CriteriaCaixa negotiates with TAQA Group, managed by Abu Dhabi, to enter Naturgy | EUROtoday

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Another coup d'état is coming at Naturgy, this time, with the approval of Moncloa. CriteriaCaixa, first shareholder in power, final an settlement with the emirat group TAQA Group to enter the capital of the fuel firm by way of a shareholder alliance that ensures the holding La Caixa investor a place of management and the consolidation of a tough core that, with the help of the Government, protects the Spanishness of the corporate he presides Francisco Reyns.

“They have been working on it for months,” authorized sources near power guarantee EL MUNDO, confirming that the seek for an investor has been led by holding chaired by Isidro Fain, who has labored in whole coordination with the Government, as introduced yesterday The vanguard. Given Naturgy's standing as a strategic firm, the Executive has veto energy within the face of main modifications in its capital.

Naturgy shares soar 9% this Tuesday after the Catalan group has acknowledged that it’s holding talks in a “preliminary stage” with traders looking for to enter the power capital.

“Currently, Criteria is holding talks with a potential investment group that has stated that it is in contact with some of Naturgy's reference shareholders and is interested in reaching a potential partner agreement with Criteria,” the corporate notes in a related reality.

This funding group is TAQA Group, as confirmed THE WORLD and ahead CincoDas. Behind this title is the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, a bunch that concentrates a big a part of the emirate's power enterprise and that depends upon the nationwide oil firm.


The settlement that Criteria is looking for just isn’t easy, because it begins with acquiring a shareholders settlementas an alliance between shareholders of the identical firm is understood, which protects the management of the holding Catalan in Naturgy, in line with sources near the conversations. Regarding the fringes of the operation, a number of eventualities are dealt with, corresponding to a complete or partial public acquisition supply (takeover bid).

The quick goal – though not the one one – of the budding settlement is for the Emirati investor to take over the baton of the CVC fund, which shares second place in capital with GIP, with a 20% stake every, and which has lengthy been He exhausted his funding cycle within the firm. GIP has additionally needed to shut its stage within the fuel firm for months, however the current buy of this fund by BlackRock has alleviated that sense of urgency. CVC's departure stays a precedence.

To perceive Criteria's motion, we should look down at Naturgy's capital, the place 4 massive traders, along with the Algerian Sonatrach, personal 90% of the shares. The holding firm chaired by Fain is the biggest shareholder, with a 27% stake. They are adopted by GIP and CVC, which account for 40% of the capital, and the Australian fund IFM (15%).

The answer that Reyns proposed to alleviate the strain of CVC and GIP was the Geminis Project, the plan to segregate Naturgy into two listed corporations. The splitting would have facilitated the exit of the funds, however the inflationary disaster and the Government's opposition to the division left the plan in a drawer virtually from its announcement, at first of 2022, which exacerbated the discomfort of the 2 funds.

In addition to the impatience of CVC and GIP to shut their chapter within the fuel firm, the current motion can even serve the funding arm of La Caixa to place a cease to IFM's claims. The Catalan investor was suspicious of the Australian fund from the start, which landed in power without warning in 2021 by way of a takeover bid. The stress between the 2 by no means disappeared, though what reopened the wound was IFM's newest modification to Reyns' administration, evidenced by his rejection of the management's remuneration coverage on the Board assembly on April 2. Criteria was fast to shut ranks with Reyns towards IFM: it supported the salaries of senior administration and reaffirmed its dedication to the administration staff.

The relationship between IFM and Reyns just isn’t going by way of its finest second both. The fund run by Jaime Siles in Spain has not overcome the objection of Naturgy's senior administration, who final summer season prevented the assessment of the corporate's governance mannequin that they demanded from Australia, that’s, the appointment of a second in command. to imagine a part of the powers that Reyns concentrates. The power firm settled the difficulty after the resignation of the primary candidate, the Citi banker Ignacio Gutirrez-Orrantiawho most well-liked to remain on the monetary large fairly than assume a place that, from the primary negotiations, appeared weak.

Energy drags one other impediment. The distribution of the Naturgy cake leaves little or no room for floating capital or free float (shares which are freely traded available on the market), which interprets right into a meager stage of liquidity, one thing that’s weighing down the group's inventory market worth and harming minority shareholders. This state of affairs has expelled Naturgy from a few of the fundamental world indices.

The CNMV lately urged the fuel firm to take measures to extend its liquidity, for instance, by way of a capital improve or the sale of shares. “It is a general recommendation to those listed with low free floatsuch as Acciona, NH or Prosegur, although the current regulatory framework does not require them to exceed a certain floating capital threshold to continue trading, only that this exceeds 25% at the time of going public,” sources from the inventory market supervisor clarify.

Under the anticipated phrases, the eventual entry of Emirates into Naturgy would resolve the tensions that afflict the group and would defend the nationwide management of the governing physique of an organization that’s key to the safety of provide in Spain.