CriteriaCaixa, the holding of La Caixa investees, has already reached 25% of the shareholding of Naturgy in full tender offer of the Australian fund IFM over 22.7% of the capital of the energy company.
This is stated in the records of the CNMV, the Spanish stock market supervisor, which state that it currently owns 25.001% of the capital after buying a new package of shares.
CriteriaCaixa currently has two members on the Naturgy board, and in this process of gradual strengthening of its role as the first shareholder, it remains to be seen when a third director will claim.
On May 18, CriteriaCaixa announced that it intended to strengthen its capital in Naturgy , from the 24.8% it had then to a maximum of 30%, although without exceeding that threshold, because then it would have to launch a takeover bid.
Consistent with this announcement, Criteria has since been buying packages of shares in the market to raise its position little by little to 25% reported this Tuesday.
Is the IFM takeover complicated?
CriteriaCaixa’s move initially complicates the takeover of the Australian fund IFM, which offers € 22.37 per Naturgy share. Since launching its partial takeover bid, at the end of January , IFM has always made it clear that in no case did it intend to displace Criteria as the first shareholder of Naturgy, but rather launched this offer with institutional investors in mind, that is, pension plans, funds or entities and institutions with relevant packages of shares of the company, which add up to a total of 21.9% of the shareholders, and in the minority, which have another 7.7% of the capital.
For its part, IFM has made it clear that it wants to have representation on the board and had established a minimum objective of the takeover bid to achieve 17% of Naturgy’s capital.
Criteria, for its part, justified its decision to strengthen itself as the first shareholder due to the dividends it receives from the energy company and to continue being Naturgy’s reference Spanish shareholder and to help the company continue to be listed in Spain, among other reasons.
Beyond Criteria, the rest of Naturgy’s significant shareholders are the investment vehicle Rioja, made up of CVC and the March family, which accounts for 20.7% of the shareholding; the GIP fund, with 20.6%, and the Algerian Sonatrach, with 4.1%.
Of the twelve directors of Naturgy, there is an executive, the president Francisco Reynés; five independent and six proprietary -representing the reference shareholders-: two are for Criteria, two for GIP and two for CVC.
Meanwhile, the IFM takeover is pending on whether the government authorizes it or not , a decision that should be communicated before the end of August.