Red Eléctrica Corporación, S.A. (REC) and Abertis Infraestructuras, S.A. (Abertis) have reached an agreement whereby REC, through its subsidiary Red Eléctrica Sistemas de Telecomunicaciones (RESTEL), will acquire 89.68% of the shareholding of Hispasat S.A., currently held by Abertis, for an amount totalling €949 million. This acquisition will be financed with external debt and, therefore, classed as non-recourse debt.
The transaction has the approval of the Boards of Directors of both companies, but given the strategic importance of the satellite operator, both the Council of Ministers and the regulatory bodies, among others, will need to authorise the transfer of shares, for which it will be necessary to request and obtain said permits to complete the purchase. Due to this circumstance, the purchasing lead times will not be completed until the second quarter of 2019.
By business volume, Hispasat is the number one operator of satellite infrastructure in Spain and Portugal, the fourth operator in Latin America and the eighth operator worldwide, with revenues of 204 million euros in 2018. It currently has a fleet of 7 satellites providing coverage to Europe and the American continent, distributing more than 1,250 television and radio channels. After acquiring this controlling shareholding, Red Eléctrica Corporación will maintain the strategic commitments of the satellite operator.
The agreement reached will allow a significant expansion of the Group's telecommunications business towards new customer segments and geographical areas, in addition to exploring potential synergies with the Group’s existing fiber optic business.
Moreover, it will be a definite step forward in the consolidation of the Red Eléctrica Group as a global operator of infrastructure of a strategic nature both in Spain and internationally; managing electricity transmission grids, fibre optic networks and satellites.
Lastly, it must be pointed out that the development of this new area of business, as has been the case with the commercialisation of the dark fibre optic infrastructure or with the businesses undertaken and developed in Latin America, will not interfere with the core priority of Red Eléctrica Corporación, which is to guarantee through Red Eléctrica de España (REE) the security of the electricity supply and to make the energy transition possible, for which it plans to invest 7 billion euros up until 2030.
Once the transaction has been completed, the shareholding structure of Hispasat will be made up as follows: Red Eléctrica Corporación, 89.68%, SEPI, 7.41% and CDTI, 2.91%.