The Government extends until 2023 the shield to strategic companies




The Council of Ministers has extended until December 31, 2022 the shield to strategic companies, popularly known as shield ‘antiopas’, through a royal decree that includes the extension of other measures to respond to the pandemic.

“The objective of extending the validity of this measure is to protect safety, health and public order, as well as to guarantee legal security for economic operators,” the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation said in a statement.

With this measure, the Government must authorize foreign investments in listed strategic companies in which it is intended to exceed 10% of the capital, as well as in unlisted companies in which the investment exceeds 500 million euros.

This extension comes after a public acquisition offer (OPA) of the
KKR fund to Telecom Italia
will unleash rumors about a similar move by Telefónica and in a context in which the recovery of the Ibex 35 after the pandemic is less than that of the rest of the European stock markets.

By virtue of the aforementioned ‘shield’, the Government has given its prior authorization to operations such as the purchase of Euskaltel by MásMóvil or IFM’s takeover bid for Naturgy, whose authorization was conditional.

Likewise, the recapitalization funds of companies managed by the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) and Cofides will remain in force until June 30, 2022.

In parallel to the approval of the extension, the State Society of Industrial Participations (SEPI) has approved and the Council of Ministers has authorized this Tuesday three bailouts to the Airtificial Group, SERHS Group and Reinosa Forgings & Castings for 95 million euros in their set.

The Executive has also extended until July 31, 2022 the line of guarantees of the Official Credit Institute (ICO) for freelancers and companies that have guaranteed, until November 18, 1.13 million operations and deployed guarantees for 101,945 million euros, which has enabled the mobilization of investments of 133,975 million euros in financing for companies.

According to the Government, it is one of the European Union’s most widely used aid lines, as it has also mobilized almost 2,000 million euros of investment in the Alternative Fixed Income Market (MARF).

The Government has also extended until June 30, 2022 the period for the reimbursement by the autonomous communities of the funds not executed from the Covid Line of direct aid to the self-employed and companies, with the aim that the communities can resolve the resources of calls already closed.

On the insolvency level, the exceptional measure established in Law 3/2020 for the exclusion of the results for the purposes of the legal cause of dissolution due to losses is extended to 2021, while also extends until June 30, 2022 protection for debtors in a situation of insolvency.

This protection exempts them from having to request bankruptcy, as well as withdraws from their creditors the power to request it so that viable companies under normal market conditions have legal instruments that allow them to maintain their activity and employment and have an additional margin to restore their equity balance.

These last two measures are part of the reform of the bankruptcy framework in which it seeks to enhance the second chance for the entrepreneur who is a natural person.

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