The government is protecting Grifols and could veto the takeover bid or set conditions.

The potential takeover of a blood products maker by Canada’s Brookfield Foundation and the Grifols family must undergo rigorous government scrutiny and approval.

A possible takeover bid for Grifols, something like what the Canadian foundation has prepared Brookfield in alliance with the group’s founding family, You must obtain permission from the government.

This is what government sources at the highest level are saying.He. The government reserves the right to veto an operation with these characteristics.If you approve of this, may impose more or less strict conditions, such as non-delisting from the stock market, maintaining the group’s headquarters in Spain, continuity of investments or control over dividends.

It would be The first major corporate movement in Spain, in which the government applied rules to protect strategic assets in the health sector. Until now, all attention has been focused on energy groups such as Naturgy, for IFM takeover bid; telecommunications such as Telefónica, through the STC entrance.; or infrastructure, for example Talgo, for the takeover offer for Magyar Vagon.

Of the 129 foreign investment permit applications received by the government last year, only 5% were in the health sector (25% in communications and 15% in energy).

Grifols is a key group in the pharmaceutical sector. It is the third largest company in the world and the first in Europe in the production of blood products. an essential component for blood transfusion.

The company is under the auspices of state protection of strategic assets for several reasons. For example, develops activity without easy replacement.

Basic input data

it’s the same the main group in “supply of essential resources”giving the government free rein to veto the operation or impose conditions. Wrong Call anti-takeover law In fact, it is a set of rules that the government began to impose at the height of Covid to protect some Spanish companies, weakened by the crisis, from foreign predators.

10% or absorption

This set of rules began with the introduction controls on investments by non-EU groups in Spain. Among them, they were forced to ask permission from all those investors who wanted acquire more than 10% of the shares of a listed group. Later, the rules expanded their geographic and sectoral scope, as well as requirements. The review is carried out by the Foreign Investment Board under the Ministry of Commerce.previously under the orbit of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, but now subordinate to the Ministry of Economy.

Delisting of the stock market

Brookfield is in takeover talks with Grifols to acquire a majority stake in the company and ultimately promote stock market exclusion. Exclusion from the national stock market is something that the government does not like a priori. In 2021, for By approving IFM’s entry into Naturgy, the government forced the company to remain listed on the stock exchange for at least three years.

Although relevant, The government might agree to Grifols stopping trading in exchange for other terms.This is what happened to Antin’s takeover of Opdenergy. The fund’s ultimate goal with its $900 million takeover bid for Opdenergy was to delist the renewable energy company from the Spanish stock market, which it finally accomplished this year. But before the government laid down the conditions, Antin has voluntarily dropped his bid to bring an international arbitration case against Spain over a dispute over cutting renewable energy subsidies.

Headquarters, difficult point

Another sensitive issue is the headquarters of Grifols, an issue that has always been very sensitive in this company. Barcelona-based Grifols was the only Ibex company that did not move its headquarters outside Catalonia between 2017 and 2018, at the height of the political storm of the Catalan independence movement.for which he earned the nickname “the standard-bearer of the process.” Although he is still in Barcelona, He has a business in Ireland.

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