EDF "is not welcome," warns Iberdrola chairman
Sánchez Galán denies talks with Gas Natural, Unión Fenosa21 February 2008
MADRID - Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Sánchez Galán said yesterday he would do everything possible to thwart EDF of France's hostile intentions over Spain's second-biggest power company.
He told reporters that one of his main aims as Iberdrola chief is to raise the share value of the company.
EDF on Wednesday reiterated its attitude that it would enter the Spanish power market only if invited, a notion Sánchez Galán rejected with strong language.
"EDF is not welcome [in Spain]," he said. "This has been made clear from a political, social, labour, territorial and shareholder point of view."
He argued that it would be very difficult to find synergies between both companies because of EDF's corporate culture.
"In France for the French and outside of France it's for the French as well," he added.
It is not fair, Sánchez Galán argued, that while countries like Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany had opened their power markets to deregulation, France continued to be dominated by companies like the state-controlled EDF.
He said that the lack of competition and France's closed markets were to blame for the scant energy integration between both countries.
Sánchez Galán also had strong words with regard to ACS, the construction company that had held talks with EDF over acquiring Iberdrola. ACS' role in the company, he noted, was in constant conflict with Iberdrola.
The chairman also denied to reporters that Iberdrola was in talks with Unión Fenosa and Gas Natural over a possible merger.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / ENRIQUE TESSIERI 2008]
Subject: Spanish news