Round-trip privatization: the State returns to Telefónica 27 years after its departure to guarantee national security

Executive Chairman of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Palete.

The government of Pedro Sanchez warned about this and has made its point. When the group in September last year Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Announced to buy 9.9% stake in telephone It didn’t take long for the Spanish government to step in and say it would implement “all necessary mechanisms for rescue”, becoming its first shareholder.Spain’s strategic interests” And that’s what he did.

First, when the Council of Ministers approved the entry last December State Industrial Partnership Society (SEPI) -The body dependent on the Treasury that brings together capital in companies- in Telefónica’s shareholding. maximum 10% of participation and thus became yours Major Shareholders, and then to buy this week a Its shares are 3.044%Specifically for 176.04 million titles, worth 698.4 million euros.

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According to SEPI, this movement is made “with the demand for sustainability” and will contribute to the safety of the operator’s capabilities, which is “strategic for national interestsFor its leadership in the telecommunications sector and its industrial capabilities, which are “definitive” in areas such as security and defence.

After this first purchase, the Spanish State Return to Telefónica’s shareholding after 27 years After that Privatization in 1997Privatization when Telefónica’s José María Aznar and Juan Villalonga were presidents of the government. twenty-one% Of a state run company. In this operation, the most optimistic forecasts were exceeded. 191 million shares were placed and their demand increased 5.4x offer.

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The government wants SEPI to take over 10% of the Spanish operator “In the shortest possible time”According to the government spokesperson, Pilar AlegriaIn the press conference after the Council of Ministers held last Tuesday 26th. Alegría explained that SEPI’s entry into telecommunications would allow the company to provide “greater shareholder stability” and “protect its strategic potential.”

In the opinion of analysts, the steps taken by the government will have consequences. so carlos baladoThe professor at the OBS Business School and director of Eurocofin believes that this movement is “in line with the participation of other states in similar strategic companies within the EU.”

Now, he believes that “to ensure the free market, which is a founding feature of the European Union, this entry Must not interfere with or exclude the income of any other shareholder Who wants to acquire Telefónica securities, because in both cases the ultimate beneficiaries are all shareholders when new funds and investors are attracted.”

for its part, javier molinaThe senior market analyst at eToro believes that the operator’s entry is “an important state strategy.” Besides, “Guarantees stability of main shareholders of Telefónica, protects the company from market fluctuations and guarantees a solid and predictable shareholder base.

The unions say Telefónica “falls short” on ERE and the terms of the agreement.

Following SEPI’s first move in acquiring 3% of the telecom company, a series of questions arise. In the opinion of Carlos Balado, the first is How will SEPI finance an operation that is not envisaged in its investment plan? And the cost incurred by the state for this operation.

Second, what will happen acquisition rate 10 percent of the capital and its effect on the price of Telefónica shares; And, thirdly, what The decision will be taken by STC Based on the new shareholding configuration of the telecom company.

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