CriteriaCaixa announced on Tuesday that "it will strengthen its position in Naturgy's share capital", without reaching the 30% threshold required to launch a public acquisition offer (takeover bid).
The Australian fund IFM launches a takeover bid on 22.69% of Naturgy for 5,060 million
The industrial holding of the La Caixa Banking Foundation "confirms its willingness to continue as the reference Spanish shareholder" of the energy company. It does so five months after the Australian fund IFM announced a partial takeover of 22.69% of Naturgy. The operation is pending approval from the Government.
CriteriaCaixa's decision to "strengthen its position in Naturgy's share capital" was adopted at the last meeting of its board of directors and has already been ratified by the Executive Committee of the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation.
Criteria, which currently owns 24.8% of the former Gas Natural, announces that it will "strengthen" in the energy company, although it will do so without exceeding the 30% threshold that would force it to launch a takeover bid. In a statement, it explains that “the reinforcement of the position in Naturgy will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of current regulations and following the recommendations of the CNMV without, in any case, exceeding the legally established threshold to formulate a takeover bid ( 30%) ".
The entity chaired by Isidro Fainé thus confirms "its willingness to continue as the reference Spanish shareholder" of Naturgy "and as such defend its interests" in order to contribute to "keep the company listed in Spain", ensuring liquidity to all its shareholders.
In addition, it points out that its permanence in the capital allows "to ensure an Industrial Plan of the company" that is "consistent with the Just Energy Transition", with "enough time for its execution and prioritizing productive investment"; and "maintain the security of energy supply to Spain and avoid sales of Naturgy businesses without ensuring their reinvestment".
In the note, Criteria recalls that Naturgy has always been “one of its main investments, where today it owns 24.8%, the value of which amounts to around 5,000 million euros. The dividends that CriteriaCaixa receives annually from Naturgy cover more than half of the annual expenses of the Obra Social of the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation.
CriteriaCaixa "considers that its decision is consistent with the efficient and prudent management of its investment portfolio, focused on companies in which it obtains a stable and long-term flow of dividends that allow it to guarantee the Obra Social" of the "la Caixa" Foundation .