Government now controls more than 5% of Telefónica

TelefónicaJosé María Álvarez-Pallete, Executive Chairman of Telefónica

The Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) has informed the National Securities Market (CNMV) that its stake in Telefónica’s share capital has now reached 5%, half of the established target.

SEPI thus complies with the Council of Ministers’ agreement ordering the purchase of Telefónica shares up to 10%, “minimising the impact on the share price and complying with the notifications of significant shareholdings established in the regulations”, the public holding company said in a statement.

“SEPI’s participation, which is intended to be permanent, provides greater shareholding stability to the company for the achievement of its objectives and contributes to the protection of the strategic capabilities of a key company in the telecommunications sector and a determining factor in most of the industrial capabilities and areas of knowledge which affect the essential interests of defence and national security,” the company’s statement concludes.

The public company equals the share of CriteriaCaixa, the holding company that manages the business assets of the La Caixa Foundation, which last week also raised its share in the capital of the ‘teleco’ from 2.69% to 5.007%.

At present, around 17% of Telefónica’s capital is held by Spanish firms: 5% by SEPI, another 5.007% by CriteriaCaixa, 2.51% by CaixaBank and 4.86% by BBVA, according to Telefónica’s latest annual report. In total, the four hold 17.37%.

Since the landing of the Saudi firm STC in Telefónica – with 4.9% and another 5% in derivatives – the government announced its intention to reinforce the presence of the public sector in the company.

Telefónica, according to the government, constitutes “a strategic company for Spain because of its role in the field of telecommunications, but also in the field of defence”.

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