MADRID, 29 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) has forced the shareholders of Madrileña Red de Gas to return funds totaling 101.2 million euros to pay dividends.
As reported by the agency, it has adopted a legally binding decision in relation to the credit opening contract signed between Madrileña Red de Gas, as creditor, and Elisandra Spain V, its sole direct shareholder, as creditor, in which it requests the gas company that returns periodic dispositions made destined to dividend and is situated in a position according to law.
The regulator stressed that this position "cannot imply that Madrileña Red de Gas guarantees a third-party debt, to the extent that article 62.6 of the Hydrocarbons Sector Law does not allow it."
Madrileña Red de Gas had granted a credit opening contract in 2019 to its sole direct shareholder Elisandra Spain V, through which it made periodic drawdowns and then distributed them as dividends to its ultimate shareholders.
The shareholders of the company Elisandra IV, which controls Madrileña Red de Gas, is made up of the Dutch pension fund PGGM (33.75%), the Chinese sovereign wealth fund Ginkgo Tree Investment (33.75%), the British fund LPPI Infrastructure Investments (20%) and EDF Invest (12.5%), a subsidiary of the French energy company EDF.
The CNMC has analyzed the credit agreement, concluding that the provisions made after May 22, 2021, the date of entry into force of the Climate Change Law, are not in accordance with current regulations.
This contract was signed in June 2019, and Elisandra V has been making periodic withdrawals, which have been used to distribute dividends among the ultimate shareholders of the regulated company.
Law 7/2021 introduced a new section 6 in article 62 of the Hydrocarbons Sector Law, which does not allow companies that carry out regulated activities, in order not to put their assets at risk, to grant loans, guarantees or endorsements to other companies in its group that carry out liberalized activities or others outside the Spanish natural gas sector, except in the case of centralized treasury management under the conditions established by law.
The CNMC has analyzed the credit agreement, concluding that the provisions made by Madrileña Red de Gas after May 22, 2021, the date of entry into force of Law 7/2021, are not in accordance with current regulations.