Very important changes in Telefónica’s shareholding with the operation that was made public this Tuesday, in which Saudi Telecom (STC Group), the main Saudi operator, has acquired a 9.9% stake in the Spanish telecom company for an amount total of 2,100 million euros.
In this way, the Arab firm becomes the largest shareholder of Telefónica, occupying a privileged place that BBVA held until today, which has 4.87% of the economic rights.
Specifically, according to Telefónica’s website, the list of the company’s main shareholders as of this Tuesday is as follows: Saudi Telecom (9.9%), BBVA (4.87%), BlackRock (4 .48%) and CaixaBank (3.50%).
Regarding the operation, it should be noted that this 9.9% has a clear intention: to avoid the so-called ‘anti-takeover shield’ with which the Government has to authorize foreign investments in strategic companies that reach 10% of the capital.
Telefónica has made the agreement public through a statement sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). The document specifies that STC Group’s investment has been made through the acquisition of shares representing 4.9% of Telefónica’s share capital and financial instruments that confer economic exposure on another 5% of Telefónica’s share capital.
Likewise, the text details that the Saudi company will obtain the voting rights corresponding to that 5.0% through the physical settlement of the aforementioned financial instruments after obtaining the necessary regulatory authorizations.
In any case, despite the aforementioned position of Telefónica’s largest shareholder, Saudi Telecom has highlighted that they have no intention of acquiring control or a majority stake in Telefónica. “This is a great investment opportunity that allows us to use our solid balance sheet and at the same time maintain our attractive dividend policy,” the company said.