CriteriaCaixa and TAQA break off negotiations, joint takeover bid for Naturgy now off the table


CriteriaCaixa, the industrial holding company of La Caixa Foundation, has announced that it has broken off negotiations with TAQA to launch a public takeover bid (PTB) for Naturgy that would satisfy the participation of the CVC and GIP funds. It thus puts an end to more than a month of negotiations with the Abu Dhabi energy and water operator, which apparently intended to take 51% of the joint vehicle, which was flatly rejected by Criteria, which has been the most prominent investor in the gas company for decades, and which is the largest shareholder with 26.7% of the capital.

The launch of the takeover bid for Naturgy would clear the way for the exit of two other major Naturgy shareholders, CVC Capital Partners (20.41%) and GIP (20%), whose claims on the price of the hypothetical takeover bid appear to be another key factor in the breakdown of negotiations between Criteria and Taqa. Both GVC and GIP, which entered the Spanish energy company’s capital in 2019 and 2016, respectively, consider their investment to be mature and have openly expressed their willingness to sell it.

Criteria’s declared interest is to find an industrial partner for Naturgy beyond the investment effort involved in launching a public offer for the Spanish gas company, which yesterday rose 0.65% on the stock market to reach a share price of €24.86; which means that, as of today, the company is worth more than €24,100 million on the market.

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