The first major banking union in Spain after the fall of Banco Popular and, on the rebound, a new dance of mergers with two Ibex 35 companies as protagonists. However, the possible union of CaixaBank and Bankia, which both entities undertake to explore, has more guests among the greats of the selective. These are Telefónica, Cellnex and Naturgy, the three large listed companies that would see the identity of one of their reference shareholders change.
In all three cases, they are companies that have CaixaBank-Criteria among their most relevant investors. Where it has more weight, without a doubt, is in Naturgy, where Caixa roots are historically established and where it is close to 25% of the shareholders. Behind, its other two large investees, although it does not reach 5%. Specifically, in Cellnex, Criteria adds 4.7%.
The case of the owner of Movistar is significant because, at the end of July, CaixaBank reduced its stake in Telefónica below this percentage, down to 4.8%. It was a historic reduction because it had been in place for more than a decade, specifically since 2007. The reason for this step backwards was that the entity decided to collect in cash the last dividend from the operator chaired by Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete and, consequently, its participation was slightly diluted.
In this way, the merger of the two financial entities, if it finally occurs, will have a limited impact on Ibex shareholders. The main reason is the withdrawal that BFA-Bankia has been carrying out in recent years to minimize its exposure to the market.
It was not a voluntary decision. He Withdrawal is a consequence of the restructuring plan and the entity's strategic plan agreed with Brussels after the injection of public money. This established the requirement that the entity dispose of all those holdings that were not strategic for the business, with the aim of consolidating Bankia's profile as a commercial bank.
And it was not an insignificant portfolio in terms of listed, inside and outside the Ibex. Among its investments were Mapfre, Iberdrola, IAG, Sacyr, Realia, NH Hotels and Deoleo. Had the merger been eight years ago, the impact on the market would have been very different.