El Corte Inglés has reached an agreement with Primefin, whose visible head is Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thaniformer prime minister of Qatar, to buy half of the stake he has in the Spanish distribution group, which stood at 11.07%.
El Corte Inglés leaves losses behind and earns 120 million in 2021 after shooting up its sales by 22%
"The agreement reached between the parties involves valuing El Corte Inglés at around 7,000 million euros, in line with the latest corporate operations carried out, and also recognizes Primefin's contractual rights," the company said in a statement, referring to the option to repurchase its share.
In this way, the acquisition of this participation would have been around 387 million euros, although the company does not give exact figures.
Al Thani entered El Corte Inglés in 2015. He took over 10% of the capital through a participative loan worth 1,000 million euros, as reported at the time; which valued the company at 10,000 million. Loan that was executed three years later, which made him a reference shareholder. His stake eventually grew above 11% because the terms of the deal were linked to the evolution of the business. In addition, he made a put option on 2.25% of the group's shares, which he received as interest on the loan.
"The repurchase of Primefin's shares, from the loan made in the past, is part of the company's financial optimization," the company said on Tuesday.
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“The operation is carried out without an increase in debt and with its own resources, at a time when El Corte Inglés has strengthened its financial situation with the lowest level of debt in the last 15 years,” he adds.
In addition, El Corte Inglés assures that "the operation allows allocating the 5.53% acquired to reinforce the group's treasury stock". "Following the agreement reached between the parties, Primefin will adjust its rights to its new conditions and will remain a shareholder of El Corte Inglés with a 5.53% stake," he adds.
After this operation, the shareholding of El Corte Inglés is structured in a 40.04% stake by the Ramón Areces Foundation; while IASA, the holding company controlled by the sisters Cristina and Marta Álvarez, owns 18.4%. Behind, Cesar, 9.64%; Mancor, 8.04%; Mutua Madrileña, with 8%; and Primefin, with 5.53%. As for treasury stock, after this acquisition, it remains at 5.64%.
A few days ago, El Corte Inglés reported its results for 2021, which ended with a profit of 120 million, compared to the red numbers of 2,900 million in 2020, as a result of the provisions it made in the year of the pandemic.
At the end of that year, the company's debt was 3,514 million, which was reduced to 2,555 million euros after the entry into the shareholding of Mutua Madrileña. In October, the insurer became a shareholder, with the aforementioned 8%, and took control of the insurance subsidiaries, in movements valued at 1,100 million euros.