Spanish Government Will Ask IFM Fund For Details About Naturgy Mark1199. The Government will exhaust the time limit before approving IFM’s partial takeover of Naturgy. According to sources consulted by this newspaper, the Executive plans to ask for more details from the Australian fund after the presentation of the company’s strategic plan to clarify its position in the face of the company’s new business prospects.
On July 27, Naturgy’s board of directors will approve its expected strategic plan for the 2021-2025 period. In it, the company plans to publicize the investments for the coming years -mainly in renewables- as well as the shareholder remuneration policy.
In both cases, analysts expect that the investment amounts will be considerable based on the income achieved by the company with the sale of non-strategic assets in recent years such as CGE in Chile or the income obtained after the agreement reached with Egypt by the Damietta plant.
For this reason, the file on the takeover bid may now be left in limbo since the premises on which the first analyzes had been made could vary. Among other points, the Government follows in detail the final decision of Morocco on the future of the GME gas pipeline that crosses the Sahara to bring gas to Spain, an extreme that may involve important changes due to the greater strategic weight that the company would have.
Despite all these changes, the situation, in principle, should not be complicated for IFM since after the restructuring of the Government, the side that supported the entry into the company has gained weight, among which was the current Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños , or the vice presidents, Nadia Calviño and Teresa Ribera.
Spain has significant investments in Australia (Acciona, Iberdrola, ACS, etc.) and the Government is aware of how difficult it could be to slam the door on IFM, which also already has a presence in our country with Aqualia.
Naturgy was forced to delay the presentation of its strategic plan in November 2020 due to the pandemic and in February 2021 due to the partial takeover but has now decided to take a step forward and make the company’s main lines known to its shareholders. for the next few years with the intention that they can analyze in greater detail whether or not they have an interest in disposing of their shares in the gas company.
Sources close to the Australian fund consider, on the contrary, that the movement of Criteria, far from causing a problem to reach 17% of the capital, to which Australians aspire as a minimum limit, will serve to encourage institutional investors present in the capital to sell your participation.
The interpretation of these investors that they have already surveyed and IFM leads them to think that there is a greater interest in selling on the part of these entities to avoid being trapped in a stock that will have a notably reduced liquidity after the offer (there will hardly be a free float of 9 %) and whose share price is expected to fall after the settlement of the partial takeover bid.
Bank of America, on the other hand, considers that if the Naturgy offer were withdrawn, it could fall a little in the stock market but would have the capacity to recover quickly.
Now, with a clearer shareholder scenario after the step forward led by Criteria and Sonatrach, the company will make its commitment to sustainability explicit, but the tension between Criteria and IFM is increasing at almost the same rate as the Spanish financial entity reinforces its weight in gas. In fact, Naturgy shares have already exceeded the price of the bid raised by the Australian fund and are currently around 22.37 euros per share (yesterday it closed at 22.16 euros per share).