Álvarez-Pallete (Telefónica) receives STC in Madrid to address the challenges of the landing of the Saudi telecom

STC plans to close its entry into Telefónica in a year and has already collected its first 41.

Álvarez-Pallete (Telefónica) receives STC in Madrid to address the challenges of the landing of the Saudi telecom

STC plans to close its entry into Telefónica in a year and has already collected its first 41.2 million in dividends


The president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, met this Thursday in Madrid with the CEO of the Saudi operator STC, Olayan Alwetaid, to address the challenges of the Saudi telecom's landing in the shareholding of the Spanish firm, as confirmed to Europa Press sources familiar with the meeting.

In that sense, the meeting took place within the framework of the presence in Spain of STC's 'first sword' on the occasion of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that took place in Barcelona this week, a fair in which Álvarez-Pallete and Alwetaid also They have coincided because both directors are part of the board of directors of GSMA - the global association of the mobile industry -, the organizing entity of the event.

In this context, it is presumed that Álvarez-Pallete and Alwetaid have addressed in Madrid the pending issues related to STC's entry into Telefónica, such as the formal communication that the Saudi company must make to the Spanish Government to cash in on the 5% it owns through financial derivatives.

It is also foreseeable that they have spoken about whether or not the Saudi telecom's intention is to enter the board of directors of Telefónica, about the industrial and stable nature of STC's participation in the Spanish company and the State's intention to enter. in the capital of Telefónica through the State Society of Industrial Participations (SEPI) in response to the arrival of STC.

Sources from Telefónica and STC consulted by Europa Press have avoided commenting on the matter.

Since last September, STC has held a direct stake of 4.9% in Telefónica, but within a year it plans to obtain authorization from the Government to cash in on the additional 5% that it currently holds in financial derivatives, as the company explains in its annual results report, in which it also indicates that it has already received its first dividends for its participation in the Spanish operator, specifically, 167 million Saudi riyals (about 41.2 million euros).

The regulations in force in Spain regarding foreign investments in strategic listed companies establish that non-EU investors who intend to acquire more than 10% of a company of this type must request permission from the Executive.

However, this threshold is lowered to 5% in the case of companies with interests in the field of national defense, such as Telefónica.

In this context, the Saudi company plans to obtain the necessary regulatory permits to make that other 5% effective within a year.

Despite this, it is unknown if STC has already formally conveyed its intentions in Telefónica to the Government, such as whether it will request a seat on the company's board of directors or not.

However, at the time of its arrival, STC stated that it came to the company with the aim of becoming a stable industrial partner.

In response to STC's entry into Telefónica, the Executive ordered the State Industrial Participation Company (SEPI) - dependent on the Ministry of Finance - in mid-December to acquire up to 10% of the operator's share capital.

In this sense, SEPI is finalizing the stock brokerage contract to proceed with the Government's entry into Telefónica in a process in which both national and foreign financial entities are being surveyed.

This contract is "about to be awarded," according to market sources telling Europa Press, who also pointed out that although foreign banks appear on the shortlist, it would be Spanish financial entities such as BBVA and Caixabank that would be best positioned to execute. finally the stock market intermediation of the operation.

In that sense, it is worth remembering that both BBVA and Caixabank are part of the so-called 'stable core' of Telefónica's shareholders.

On the other hand, the sources consulted by Europa Press also revealed that SEPI had already awarded the advisory contract to carry out the Government's landing in Telefónica, although the name of the financial entity that will carry it out has not been revealed.

This same week, the Minister for Digital Transformation and the Public Service, José Luis Escrivá, announced the creation of the Spanish Society for Technological Transformation (SETT), a new public company that has been colloquially baptized as 'SEPI Digital' and with which it is expected that the Government will manage the participation of SEPI in Telefónica.

This new public entity will mobilize around 20,000 million euros from Perte Chip, NexTech funds and the Audiovisual Hub.