Norges Bank encourages the takeover on Naturgy by raising its stake to 1,143%


Francisco Reynés, Chairman and CEO of Naturgy, at the last shareholders’ meeting.

Norges Bank, the Norwegian bank that manages the Global Pension Fund of Norway, the largest sovereign fund in the world, has notified the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) that it owns 1,143% of the capital of Naturgy, corresponding to 11.08 million titles. The Nordic entity already had a small stake in the Spanish energy company, but with the acquisition it has made in recent dates it has passed 1%, which is considered a significant stake as it is a company on which there is an ongoing takeover bid that forces to communicate it (in normal conditions the percentage is 3%).

In any case, the new position of the Norwegian bank gives much more relevance to the offer of the Australian fund IFM while the Government analyzes the documentation to determine if it allows or rejects it according to the royal decree that was issued to prevent some investments from companies. from outside the EU take advantage of the pandemic crisis. The Executive has six months, counted from February 6, which was when he presented the offer to the CNMV.

The presence of Norges Bank was known in the Spanish energy group, although its participation was unknown. When forced, it is now positioned as a reference shareholder due to the importance of the fund it represents. Its emergence is a sign of confidence in the company, but also a position taken on IFM’s offer, putting it in value. The offer is for 22.69% of Naturgy’s capital at a price of 22.37 euros, which was reduced from the initial 23, since it was conditional on the complementary dividend.

Naturgy’s main shareholders are Criteria, with almost 25%; the CVC funds in alliance with the March (20.72%) and GIP (20.64%) and the Algerian state firm Sonatrach (4.1%). The takeover is conditional on the attendance of at least 17% and, according to sources from the Australian fund, the two funds would have given their approval not to go to the takeover, while Criteria has remained silent.

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