Australia’s IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (IFM GIF) has further lowered its offer for the 22.689% stake in Spanish power and gas utility Naturgy Energy Group SA (BME:NTGY) to EUR 22.07 (USD 26.234) per share from the original EUR 23.
The revised offer considers the dividend of EUR 0.30 per share that the utility will pay to its shareholders on August 4, the fund said Monday in a filing sent to Spanish market regulator CNMV.
The EUR-23 offer was already reduced once this year to EUR 22.37 when Naturgy paid the dividend of EUR 0.63 per share in mid-March 2021.
If Naturgy continues to make or declare dividend or any other kind of shareholder remuneration, the fund’s offer will be adjusted downwards accordingly, IFM GIF said in the filing, reiterating the pricing terms laid out in the partial takeover bid presented early this year.
In January 2021, IFM GIF filed an offer with CNMV to acquire 220 million of Naturgy shares for EUR 5.06 billion in cash, without directly informing the target of the bid.
CNMV accepted to review the fund’s proposal, but still needs the green light from the Spanish government to approve the stake acquisition. The extra approval from the government was introduced in an emergency order in March 2020 to prevent non-EU investors from exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to take 10% and higher stakes in Spanish companies operating in strategic sectors, such as energy and defence.
While the fund waits for the government nod, Naturgy’s largest shareholder, Spanish investment holding company Criteria Caixa SAU, announced it would raise its stake in the utility from 24.8% to below 30%.
As of July 27, Criteria Caixa’s stake is at around 26%.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.189)
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