Spain’s €30-billion privatisation plan to affect AIG, Renfe among others

IAG1IAG could decide to abandon the purchase of Air Europa


The Spanish government estimates it may take in up to €30 billion through an “ambitious” privatisation plan which will be passed before summer, reported news agency Europa Press on Monday. This new government plan, which completes the reforms that have already been approved as well as other further measures (the single market, or the entrepreneurship law) will affect all the ministries and enable private initiatives to enter in a large number of companies and in the provision of public services.

The privatisation programme will impact specifically on companies such as Renfe, Aena, Puertos del Estado, Paradores and Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (LAE), and will comprise regional governments’ companies and services such as the Canal de Isabell II, Madrid’s water provider.

Furthermore, the plan includes several disinvestments on firms in which the state holding Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones (SEPI, in its Spanish acronym) has a stake. It is the case of IAG (the airline resulting from the Iberia-British Airways merger), Ebro Foods or Red Eléctrica de España (REE). The previous Socialist government intended to sell SEPI’s participations in these companies (2.71% in IAG, 10% in REE y 10.2% in Ebro), but the operation was cancelled once it had been given the approval by the Consultative Council for Privatisations, on the grounds that convenient markets conditions for the move were not having place.

The privatisation scheme will be approved before summer and allow President Mariano Rajoy’s government to obtain up to €30 billion which will be used to pay off public debt and reduce Treasury issues.

Currently, the government is considering which assests are the most attractive for investors in order to avoid sale prices, as well as which companies have had an income big enough to alleviate the Spanish debt crisis. 

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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