Spanish construction company Sacyr leaves Repsol’s capital entirely

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The Spanish construction company Sacyr announced on Monday the sale of the 2.9% of Repsol that it still owned, ten years after a war for influence within the oil group of which Sacyr was the main shareholder.

“Sacyr has sold all the Repsol shares that remained in its possession,” that is, 2.9% of the capital, the construction company, which entered Repsol for the first time in 2006, said in a statement.

This operation allowed Sacyr to reduce its debt by 563 million euros ($600 million) and keep 58 million euros ($62 million) in cash, he said.

Sacyr is an emblematic group of the real estate frenzy experienced by Spain during a decade before the bursting of the real estate bubble in 2008, at the origin of a deep economic crisis that pushed unemployment to record levels.

Due to this crisis, the construction company accumulated a large debt. After several years of losses, the company came out of the red in 2014.

With 20% of Repsol’s capital, Sacyr was in the early 2010s the oil company’s largest shareholder, the subject of an intense battle for control.

To act in concert on Repsol’s board of directors, Sacyr signed an agreement in 2011 for an initial period of ten years with the Mexican oil company Pemex. Together, Sacyr and Pemex owned 29.5% of Repsol.

But the pact was blown up when Repsol came to the rescue of Sacyr at the end of 2011, paralyzed by its debt, by buying half of the 20% of its capital that the construction group owned for 2,500 million euros.

The president of Sacyr, Luis del Rivero, rival of Repsol’s, Antonio Brufau, became a victim of the battle when he was dismissed.

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