Iberdrola appeals to regulator to fend off possible takeover bid
Iberdrola, Spain's second-biggest electricity supplier, on Friday sought the help of market regulators to fight off a possible takeover bid by French energy giant EDF and Spanish constructor ACS.11 February 2008
MADRID - Iberdrola, Spain's second-biggest electricity supplier, on Friday sought the help of market regulators to fight off a possible takeover bid by French energy giant EDF and Spanish constructor ACS, requesting that the latter group's voting and acquisition rights be capped.
Iberdrola said it has asked the National Energy Commission (CNE) to reverse a 2006 decision allowing ACS to raise its stake in the electricity supplier above 10 percent and its voting rights above 3 percent. ACS is currently Iberdrola's largest shareholder with a 12.4-percent interest, 7.7 percent of which is held directly. Iberdrola claims that ACS has broken the restrictions placed on it by the CNE's authorisation by allegedly negotiating a takeover bid with EDF.
On Tuesday, the Spanish constructor admitted it had been in conversations with the French electricity giant about the "Spanish energy market." Yesterday, EDF formally confirmed to market regulators its interest in Iberdrola although it claimed its contacts with ACS have been merely "exploratory."
The French government, which maintains a majority holding in EDF, has insisted that any attempted takeover of Iberdrola would first be agreed with the Spanish administration.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / Angeles Espinosa 2008]
Subject: Spanish news