IFM's offer for 22.7% stake in Naturgy is approved with conditions

La Moncloa Palace building where the cabinet meetings are held. Image source: the Government of Spain on Flickr

August 4 (Renewables Now) - Spain’s government on Tuesday approved with conditions the offer submitted by Australia’s IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (IFM GIF) to acquire up to 22.689% stake in Spanish power and gas utility Naturgy Energy Group SA (BME:NTGY), calling the transaction a sign of international investor confidence in the Spanish economy.

The government's conditions are aimed at keeping Naturgy in Spain and on the path of the energy transition.

When exercising its voting rights, the Australian fund should support keeping Naturgy’s registered seat, headquarters and a significant part of the workforce in Spain, the Spanish ministry of economic affairs said in its press release.

Furthermore, IFM GIF should not support proposals to delist Naturgy from the Spanish stock exchanges nor support divestment proposals that might cause the group lose control of its subsidiaries and jeopardise the proper functioning of the power and natural gas transmission and distribution in Spain.

Finally, the fund should support Naturgy’s investment in projects that contribute to the energy transition in Spain, a prudent dividend policy that would enable investments in the energy transition and a debt policy aimed at maintaining the group’s investment grade credit rating, the ministry said.

The next step for IFM GIF is to win the approval from the Spanish market regulator CNMV to take the stake.

IFM GIF, which is indirectly managed by Australian pension funds, filed an offer in January this year targeting up to 220 million of Naturgy shares. At the time, the fund offered to pay EUR 23 (USD 27.25) per share for its stake, but added that the price would be adjusted downwards if Naturgy declared or paid dividend or any other kind of shareholder remuneration.

Naturgy declared dividend twice since then, and the fund this week lowered its offer to EUR 22.07.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.185)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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