Víctor Grifols retires as non-executive chairman; Steven F. Mayer named successor

GrifolsPossible claim of €54- 274M does not affect Grifols' credit history

Renta 4 | On Monday afternoon, after the Spanish market closed, Grifols announced that Víctor Grifols had retired as non-executive chairman, after 50 years in the company, including more than 30 as CEO.

In his place, the Spanish manufacturer of blood plasma-based products has appointed Steven F. Mayer as new executive chairman. Mayer has been a member of Grifols’ board for over 10 years. He also has extensive experience in the Private Equity sector, having held relevant positions in companies like Cerberus.

According to the statement from Grifols itself, this change reflects the Board’s commitment to meeting strategic objectives, operational excellence and deleveraging the balance sheet.

Daily Cinco Dias highlighted that the arrival of an executive chairman with an extensive experience in the global capital markets can be seen as a move aimed at solving Grifols’ debt problem. And as well, perhaps, searching for capital and other financial solutions for the firm.

Grifols net financial debt reached 8.994,1 billion euros in the first half, with the gearing ratio at 9xEBITDA, the newspaper said.

Renta 4 valuation:

This appointment has taken us by surprise. We believe it implies a change in the line of succession which the company had adopted with the appointment of two CEOs, members of the Grifols family, just a few years ago (2017). Everything seemed to point to Víctor Grifols son or his brother Raimon taking over the chairmanship in the future. We evaluate as positive the naming of an executive with a lot of experience in M&A and/or the restructuring of balance sheets. Someone who could implement more imaginative initiatives to give Grifols back the financial stabillity it needs to provide tranquility for all its stakeholders.

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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.