Telefónica closes Abertis, Hispasat shares deal
Iñaki Ferreras | 08-03-2012
Telefónica has reported yesterday to Spanish financial regulators that it has officially sold its stake of 13.23% in Hispasat to Abertis.
Hispasat, founded in 1989, provides coverage in southern Europe, northern Africa and the Americas through its fleet of commercial satellites.
The news of the sales was first announced in February 2012, and means that having paid somewhere in the region of €124 million Abertis now owns almost 47% of the space telecommunications operator. The second largest shareholder is the European satellite company Eutelsat with 27.68%.
The remaining shares are divided between public sector entities. Specifically, the Spanish National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) holds a stake of 16.42%, the State Industrial Holdings Company (SEPI), has a 7.41%, and the Center for Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), has the remaining 1.86%.
Given the strategic nature of the satellite company the transaction is still subject to, among other conditions, upon approval by the Spanish Council of Ministers. Abertis has undertaken not to sell the 15.35% stake in Eutelsat for at least six months and showed its willingness to continue as "industrial reference shareholder" in the company. Abertis has undertaken not to sell the 15.35% stake in Eutelsat for at least six months and showed its willingness to continue as "industrial reference shareholder" in the company.
Since its inception in 1989, Telefónica was involved in Hispasat along with other founding members as Retevisión, BBVA, INTA and CDTI and SEPI. In 2001 Telefónica reduced its participation in the shareholding from 22.74% to 17.34% by selling 5.4% of Eutelsat, in a joint operation with Auna and BBVA. In April 2002, Telefónica sold off another 4.11%, reducing its stake to 13.23%.
Just over a month ago Abertis sold half its stake in Eutelsat and in In particular, last January, the group controlled by CaixaBank concessions, ACS and CVC sold 16% of the share capital of the European satellite operator, an operation that was closed for €981 million and reported a consolidated net capital gain of €396 million.