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Two Of Spain's Biggest Phone And Broadband Operators Sign Merger Deal – Olive Press News Spain

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TWO of Spain’s biggest telecoms operators Orange and MasMovil have signed a formal deal to merge their operations in the country.

The agreement is worth close to €19 billion and subject to EU approval, it will come into force before the end of the year.

The two companies announced their intention to combine their Spanish services in early March.

The merger produces a major broadband and phone network acting as a big challenge to market leading Movistar/Telefonica.

The other major player in Spain will be Vodafone.

The European Commission will investigate whether the Orange-MasMovil tie-up is in the public interest.

It has previously opposed deals that reduce the number of players from four to three in major markets.

Spain is a four-way fight with Telefonica’s Movistar brand holding a 28.24% share, Orange 22.91%, Vodafone 22.26% and MasMovil with 20.55%, according March figures from competition regulator CNMC.

The Commission’s response will also reveal whether it is willing to favour a market structure with fewer operators and potentially higher investments on infrastructure — as lobbied for by industry — or if it will stick to protecting customers in a market led by strong competition and low prices.

The merged entity would generate more than €7.3 billion in annual revenue and more than €2.2 billion of annual core operating profits, the two companies said.

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Alcampo Supermarket Chain Buys 235 Stores And Warehouse From Struggling DIA In Spain – Olive Press News Spain

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FRENCH retailer Auchan says its Spanish subsidiary Alcampo will buy 235 supermarkets and a warehouse from the struggling DIA group

Subject to clearances from competition authorities, the deal should be concluded within weeks with all transfers completed before the summer of 2023.

The stores will be in the northern and central areas of Spain covering the regions of Aragon, Asturias, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Castilla y Leon, Galicia, Madrid and Navarra.

The warehouse will be in Valladolid.

Auchan Retail CEO, Yves Claude, said: “The purchase significantly strengthens our presence in a country of strategic importance for our brand with the ambition of accelerating our growth in Spain.”

DIA says it wants to focus entirely on smaller shops and will reinvest the money from Auchan in a new business model to turnaround its fortunes.

DIA is owned by the LetterOne investment firm, co-founded by Russian oligarch, Mikhail Fridman.

The company, which also operates in Portugal, Brazil, and Argentina, reported losses of over €500 million in 2019.

It converted a similar amount of debt in November 2020 into new equity as part of a business transformation plan.

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Good News In Spain As Unemployment Falls Below 3 Million And GDP Grows Faster Than Expected – Olive Press News Spain

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SPAIN’S unemployment figures have dropped below three million for the first time since 2008, according to the National Statistics Institute(INE).

The INE said the total fell to 2.9 million for the second-quarter of 2022 compared to 3.2 million for the first three months of the year.

The welcome news- at a time of inflation hitting over 10%- is the lowest jobless total since the world banking crisis 14 years ago.

The unemployment rate stands at 12.5% with 617,000 additional permanent jobs compared to the second-quarter of 2021.

The figures validate labour reforms in Spain aimed at cutting down temporary contracts or even black market working.

Meanwhile Spain’s gross domestic product grew 1.1% in the second quarter of the year, well above market expectations of 0.4%, according to INE preliminary estimates announced on Friday.

The figure is up from 0.2% over the previous three months.

Household consumption bounced back at 3.2% as opposed to 2% in the first-quarter of 2022.

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Spain Announces Details Of New Windfall Tax On Banks And Fuel Companies – Olive Press News Spain

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SPAIN’S government has announced details of its new windfall tax on banks and fuel companies which aims to bring in €7 billion into state coffers over the next two years.

The bank tax will raise €3 billion with €4 billion coming from the gas and oil companies.

The measure was announced earlier this month by Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez as a way of bringing extra money to help fund measures to fight rising costs for people in the country.

Reduced tax on power bills and a 20 cents per litre subsidy have been extended to run until the end of the year.

A draft bill over the new windfall tax was presented before Congress on Thursday.

A 1.2% levy will be imposed on power company sales while banks will face a 4.8% levy on their net interest income and net commissions.

Repsol CEO, Josu Jon Imaz said that gas and oil companies don’t make windfall profits.

“We must not forget the billions of euros of losses we recorded in previous years,” Imaz commented.

“Oil and gas has risk and there is no regulated tariff that ensures profitability.”

Banks are now being targeted on the grounds that their profitability is boosted by rising interest rates.

“The new tax is not deductible for corporate tax purposes and cannot be passed on to customers,” the draft bill says.

The document points out fines set at 150% will be imposed if attempts to do that happen.

Chief executives from both Santander and Sabadell banks warned on Thursday that the would hit mostly small savers and shareholders.

Santander CEO, Jose Antonio Alvarez, said: “If €3 billion of capital comes out of the sector, then it takes away €50 billion euros of lending capacity.”

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