CriteriaCaixa reaches a 5% stake in Telefónica

CaixaBank has 2.

CriteriaCaixa reaches a 5% stake in Telefónica

CaixaBank has 2.51% of Telefónica's share capital


CriteriaCaixa, the holding company of the La Caixa Banking Foundation, has reached a 5.007% stake in Telefónica's shareholding, as reported by the company in a statement sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) this Monday.

Until now, CriteriaCaixa had stated that it held a direct stake of 2.69% of the telecom company chaired by José María Álvarez-Pallete.

Telefónica's price closed the trading day this Monday at 3.971 euros (-0.15% intraday), so at the current market price CriteriaCaixa's stake in the operator is valued at around 1,143 million euros.

"The operation conforms to CriteriaCaixa's investment policy, characterized by efficient and prudent management of its portfolio, focused on companies with an attractive dividend policy, such as Telefónica, which allow it to finance the social action of the La Caixa Foundation. In 2023, CriteriaCaixa received a total of 42 million euros in dividends from Telefónica," the entity reported in a statement.

CriteriaCaixa has emphasized that its participation in Telefónica has a "strategic and long-term nature" and that its main objective is to provide the operator with "greater shareholder stability" because, in its opinion, it is an "essential" company both for the country as well as for the telecommunications sector internationally.


In this context, the financial institution has stressed that La Caixa's relationship with Telefónica dates back to 1987, when the then savings bank invested for the first time in the operator by acquiring 2.5% of its capital. .

Likewise, in 1996 it reached a 5% stake for the first time, which was diluted to 3.6% in 2000 as a result of the various capital increases undertaken by Telefónica to finance its international expansion.

In 2004 it regained the stake above 5% and, although the investment was initially acquired by La Caixa, in 2007 the stake became part of the perimeter of Criteria CaixaCorp within the framework of the corporate reorganization prior to its IPO.

In 2011, with the reconversion that led to CaixaBank's listing on the stock market, the bank began to hold the "historic stake" in Telefónica, a position that today stands at 2.51%.

For its part, since 2017 CriteriaCaixa has built its own direct position in Telefónica's capital through market purchases, which, after the operation announced this Monday, now reaches 5.007%.

In this way, the joint participation of CriteriaCaixa and CaixaBank in Telefónica rises to 7.517%, above the 4.83% held by BBVA and the 4.98% held by BlackRock.

In this context, it is worth remembering that the Saudi operator STC acquired 9.9% of Telefónica's share capital on September 5 for 2.1 billion euros.

However, its position is divided into 4.9% in direct shares and the other 5% are financial derivatives that have not yet been effective because the Government has to give its approval due to regulations on foreign investments in strategic companies.

Likewise, the State Society of Industrial Participations (SEPI) currently owns 3.044% of Telefónica, although the Executive's mandate to this public entity dependent on the Ministry of Finance is to acquire up to 10% of the operator's share capital.

In that sense, according to market sources told Europa Press, SEPI would have another additional 2% parked in financial derivatives.


On April 12, Telefónica will hold its general meeting of shareholders, in which the renewal of the president of CriteriaCaixa, Isidró Fainé, will be voted on as a proprietary director on behalf of CriteriaCaixa, instead of representing CaixaBank, as he had done. Until now.

In fact, on January 26, Fainé celebrated 30 years since his first appointment as a member of the board of directors of Telefónica, where he has been since 1994, making him the member of the company's highest decision-making body that has served the longest. in the seat.

The financial institution has emphasized that in all these years, both first La Caixa, and later CaixaBank and now CriteriaCaixa, have maintained their presence in the governing bodies of the telecommunications company.

"The relationship with Telefónica transcends the strictly shareholder level and both companies maintain a historical commitment to education through technology and innovation as vehicles of social transformation. A commitment that in 2016 was formalized and reinforced with the creation by Fundación Telefónica and La Caixa Foundation of the ProFuturo Foundation", the company recalled.