The Government is analyzing whether the operation requires some type of authorization because it is an investment in a strategic operator
The Acting Spokesperson for the Government, Isabel Rodríguez, has indicated that the Government will ensure that the "strategic autonomy" in Telefónica is preserved, following the acquisition by the Saudi STC of a 9.9% stake in the Spanish company for a total amount of 2,100 million euros, with no intention of taking control.
"The Government has the capacity to value this type of investment that does not affect the control of the company. There are channels to preserve our strategic autonomy that the Government sets in motion, and what I want to underline is that Telefónica is not only an emblematic company in our country, but that it is a strategic company, a strategic operator and that the Government is going to ensure, of course, the strategic autonomy of Spain with absolute normality and tranquility", he pointed out in statements to RTVE collected by Europa Press.
It is worth remembering that if the Saudi group had acquired 10% of Telefónica, the Government's anti-takeover shield would have been activated, approved in the midst of a pandemic in the face of the stock market crash to protect strategic Spanish companies from possible interest from foreign groups, initially non-EU, and later, also Europeans.
After learning that Telefónica's shares rose more than 2% on the stock market in the early stages of the session, Rodríguez pointed out that "economic movements that affect the stock market, that affect the economy of a country and of a company, therefore it is convenient give these messages of calm and not worry, and that is what the Government is going to do and what it is working on at the moment and to the First Vice President and Minister of Economy".
Asked when the Government found out about the operation in the group chaired by José María Álvarez-Pallete, Rodríguez indicated that "they are business operations, the National Securities Market Commission was informed of this yesterday and I Also, for the audience's peace of mind, what they need to know is that there are channels and all strategic investments that may affect our strategic autonomy receive that assessment and control from the Government," he concluded.
Sources from the Ministry of Economic Affairs have informed Europa Press that the Executive is going to analyze the details of the operation and whether it requires some type of authorization because it is an investment in a strategic operator. However, they have recalled that the announced operation would not imply the acquisition of more than 10% of the shares and would not mean the takeover.
From the Department headed by Nadia Calviño, they have highlighted that the operator is developing a relevant role in the digital transformation process in Spain, as it has been doing in recent decades, so that the country is in the top positions in connectivity and digitalization in the EU. .
"Telefónica is a strategic company and the Government is going to protect the strategic interest of our country", they have emphasized.