Financial Regulatory Forum

Spanish firms could resist voting changes-paper

February 22, 2010

    MADRID, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Three of Spain’s most important listed companies are considering uniting to resist a government proposal to abolish “poison pill” rules which limit shareholder voting rights, Expansion newspaper reported on Monday, without citing its sources.
   Spanish utility Iberdrola <IBE.MC> and oil major Repsol <REP.MC> are against changes which would prevent companies from capping voting rights and Spain’s dominant telecoms operator Telefonica <TEF.MC> is also worried about them, Expansion said.
   The financial daily said the groups made contact with one another late on Sunday to discuss whether to adopt a common position on the government’s proposals, which are designed to improve the governance of Spanish companies.
   A Repsol spokesman declined to comment on the report and no-one was immediately available to comment at Iberdrola or Telefonica.
   Rules on Spanish boards up until now have allowed managements to resist takeover bids or moves by shareholders to have a greater say in the running of companies.
   Iberdrola has been able to resist a push by builder ACS <ACS.MC>, which has a 12 percent stake in it, to earn a larger say on its board.
   The proposed change could also affect a power struggle at Repsol, where major shareholder Sacyr <SVO.MC> wants to see a change in the oil company’s management. (Reporting by Sarah Morris; Editing by David Holmes) ((sarah.morris@reuters.com; +34 91 585 8328; Reuters Messaging sarah.morris.reuters.com@reuters.net))
   
 Keywords: SPAIN BOARDS/VOTING
  
Monday, 22 February 2010 09:22:55RTRS [nLDE61L07G] {C}ENDS

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