Green light to one of the most convoluted operations of recent years. Abertis has announced on Tuesday that it has sold the 89.7% owned by Hispasat, the satellite operator, to Red Eléctrica Española (REE). The operation, as notified by the concessionaire in a press release, is subject to the approval of the Council of Ministers and the competition authorities in Spain and Portugal, so it will be completed throughout the first half.
And it is that Hispasat is owned by the State 10% – through the State Industrial Participation Society (SEPI) and the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) – and is considered a strategic asset for Spain. That's why its sale has been so complex. Abertis announced before it was accepted that it wanted to divest itself of its participation in the satellite operator as a non-strategic asset. But it did not complete the sale. And, months later, Atlantia It launched an offer for the concessionaire and the operation ended up smearing.
Álvaro Nadal, then Minister of Energy, paralyzed the process, precisely for the 90% owned by Abertis de Hispasat. Then the name of Red Eléctrica arose, but the company, also participated by the State, did not see with good eyes the price that the concessionaire requested from the operator.
The sale of Abertis was made possible thanks to a joint offer from Atlantia and ACS. But Hispasat's remained in the air. Even more so when the change of Government took place and the new president of Red Eléctrica, Jordi Sevilla, cooled the interest in the satellite operator.
"The Government will decide in any of the cases. It's an operation that makes sense, but it's not my priority. I think the price they ask for is expensive, "Sevilla pointed out. And is that ACS and Atlantia increased their claims for Hispasat after taking over Abertis.
The «Spanishness», guaranteed
Finally, the operation has come to fruition, which guarantees the "Spanishness" of the satellite operator and makes Red Eléctrica one of the main managers of telecommunications infrastructures in Spain, where it will manage a business with revenues in the telecommunications sector. telecommunications in the environment of 330 million euros per year.
"The group Red Eléctrica is immersed for a few months in a process of strategic review focused on promoting and making possible the energy transition in Spain, transforming the company into a benchmark in technological innovation and also consolidating its position as a neutral manager of telecommunications infrastructures and its business international ", has indicated in the statement sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) the company.
On the other hand, Abertis it undoes at the end of a considered non-strategic asset (as it did with Cellnex) in exchange for 949 million euros, a figure that allows it to relieve its debt. "The company plans to allocate the net amount obtained from this divestment to partially repay the short-term financing tranche linked to divestments in Abertis' acquisition debt," the company said in a statement.
«As a result of this operation, after obtaining the corresponding administrative authorizations, Abertis will not have any stake in Hispasat, in line with its sectoral targeting strategy with the aim of becoming a pure motorway operator », adds the company in the text.