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Gov't concerns over retaining the 'Spanishness' of Repsol

Fri 7th Oct 2011

The Spanish Government has serious concerns that Repsol, the country's largest oil company, could fall into foreign hands.

The issue has been put under the spotlight following a number of recent international market trades that have resulted in 30% of Repsol's voting bloc being acquired by foreign companies such as Petroleos Mexicanos, Pemex and construction company Sacyr Vallehermoso.

Miguel Sebastian, Spain's Minister for Industry told Cadena Ser radio that the only way to ensure that Repsol remain 'Spanish' is for the majority of shareholders to be Spanish, as the case now with Sacyr holding 20% and savings bank La Caixa 12.8%.

The Minister continued that representatives from Pemex had "Given assurances that this operation would in no way put the company's at risk," adding that Repsol had arrangements with other companies, including Brazil's Petrobras – also a nationalised foreign company – which poses no threat as long as the 'Spanishness' of Repsol is not put at risk.

Pemex reported that a key element of its agreement with Sacyr is to expand its operations globally.

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