Spanish government denies Hispasat sell-off

November 19, 2012 11.36 Europe/London By Julian Clover

The Spanish Government has categorically denied that it has reached agreement to sell 20% of satellite operator Hispasat to Abertis. In a statement, Hispasat president Elena Pisonero added her voice, flatly denying that any agreement had been reached.
Such a move has been expected for several months since the state industrial holdings company SEPI has expressed its intention to sell, with infrastructure company Abertis, already a 46.6% shareholder, and a willing buyer.
Newspaper Expansión reported last month that a sale of 25% of Hispasat to Abertis was on the cards and today (Monday) said that a sale of 20% had now been agreed. However, it did indicate that a final deal was still to be negotiated.
Abertis is already Hispasat’s largest shareholder after it purchased a 13.2% holding from Telefonica.
In January, Abertis sold half of its stake in Eutelsat for €396 million. There is a six-month lock up period before the company would be allowed to make any further disposals.