The Board of Directors of Gas Natural Fenosa has agreed today, in an extraordinary session called this afternoon, to move its headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid, financial sources have explained, adding that this decision is “temporary“. For its part, the CaixaBank board of directors has also agreed in an extraordinary session to transfer its headquarters to Valencia.
Gas Natural is thus trying to bring tranquility to the markets in the event that the Catalan Parliament approves a unilateral declaration of independence next week.
Currently, the headquarters of this energy multinational is in Plaza del Gas, 1 in Barcelona, where its central services are also located, and now it will move to Avenida San Luis de Madrid, where the offices of Gas Natural are located in the Spanish capital. in which some 1,600 people work.
The main shareholders of Gas Natural are Criteria (24.43%), the US fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which has 20%, and Repsol, which has another 20%.
Gas Natural thus joins the list of Catalan companies that take the step to move their headquarters outside of Catalonia in order to ensure that their activity is covered by the European regulatory framework regardless of what happens in Catalonia.
The sources consulted have ensured that it is a “temporary” decision pending the open uncertainty in Catalonia calms down.
Gas Natural, whose business base is the regulated and liberalized gas and electricity markets, is chaired by Isidro Fainé, who in turn is president of the La Caixa Banking Foundation.
It maintains its central services in Barcelona
Apart from the modification of its headquarters, Gas Natural maintains its central services in Barcelona, where some 1,100 people work.
Gas Natural Fenosa is a multinational group present in more than 30 countries, has almost 22 million customers and has its origin in the Catalan Society for Gas Lighting, established in 1843.
It is the second Catalan company of the Ibex -the Sabadell it did so yesterday – which approves the change of its headquarters to Madrid given the uncertainty generated by the possibility that the Catalan Parliament will declare independence next week.
The Caixabank offices in Barcelona. Photo: EFE
Caixabank, to Valencia
For its part, Caixabank has agreed to adopt the necessary measures to move its registered office to Calle Pintor Sorolla 2-4 in Valencia, as reported to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).
The change of the registered office of the bank chaired by Jordi Gual is authorized by the Decree law approved urgently this Friday by the Spanish Government, which establishes a new framework to speed up the change of the corporate headquarters of companies in the national territory.
In this way, the transfer of the Caixabank headquarters should not receive the approval of the entity’s shareholders, an aspect that was included in article 4.2 of the bank’s bylaws and that prevented changing its headquarters to another municipality without the resolution of the general meeting of shareholders.
Caixabank shares closed the session this Friday with a fall of 0.59%, although on Thursday they rose by 4.93% after knowing the transfer of Sabadell, which opened the door for Caixabank to carry out a similar movement. In the whole of the week, the entity has yielded 3.72%.
There have already been numerous companies, such as Gas Natural, Sabadell, Dogi, Naturhouse, Eurona, Oryzon, Proclinic o Service Point that given the situation in Catalonia, they have opted for a change of headquarters, while others such as Freixenet or Codorniu have announced their intention to leave the region if the unilateral declaration of independence materializes.
Within the Ibex 35, companies such as Abertis, Cellnex o Colonial They are headquartered in Catalonia. Also, other listed as FCC, Borges o Ercros They have their registered office in Catalan territory.