The Government of Pedro Sánchez has not hesitated to take sides against BBVA’s hostile takeover of Banc Sabadell. The Minister of Economy, Carlos Body, assured this week that the Executive “will have the last word” if the offer ends up going ahead.

With the takeover bid for Sabadell, the Government is waging a new business battle. However, it is not the only front that is open. Talgo, Telefónica, and Naturgy are folders that are accumulating on the table, although some are more advanced than others. In fact, in the case of Naturgy, an agreement has already been reached with Criteria, the main shareholder, for the entry of a partner from Abu Dhabi. The Executive has a long list of battles in strategic sectors and large corporations that, to a large extent, have resulted in victories in its favor.

Beyond Sabadell, the Government has work ahead of it with the takeover bid for Talgo. In March, the Hungarian group Magyar Vagon presented an offer for the railway manufacturer, a company considered strategic, for 619 million. The news did not fall into favor. The Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente, demonstrated a few days ago the Executive’s intentions to put together a response in which Sepi could play a leading role.

The Government has Telefónica’s portfolio more on track. The announcement by the Saudi operator STC to take 9.9% of the capital of the Spanish multinational last September set off all the alarms. The operator chaired by José María Álvarez Pallete is a company considered strategic due to its links with national defense and security.

The Executive’s response was to activate Sepi to take a stake of the same percentage and send a message to STC that they were not welcome. So far, the State has bought 7% of Telefónica’s capital, with an investment of about 1.6 billion. This same week, Sepi notified the CNMV of the proposal for Carlos Ocaña as a proprietary director. For its part, STC currently maintains its participation at 4.9%, and has 5% in derivatives that it could activate later, although with prior permission from the Executive.

The portfolio of the shareholding reorganization of Naturgy, another strategic company for the Spanish economy, also seems to be resolved. After the failed takeover bid of IFM (2022) and the purchase by BlackRock of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) last January, Criteria, the main partner of the multinational (26.7%), announced in April that it is negotiating an alliance with Taqa, the Abu Dhabi energy company, to take control of the multinational with the blessing of the Government. The market anticipates that the Arab group will disburse around 10,000 million.

In the previous legislature, the Government fought a bloody battle for control of Indra, a technology multinational, which also ended in a victory. The Executive managed to appoint Marc Murtra as non-executive president in May 2021, replacing Fernando Abril-Martorell, chosen under the Government of Mariano Rajoy. A year later, he increased the weight of Sepi to 28% of the capital and dismissed almost all the independent directors opposed to his strategy in the company.

As a result of the war in Ukraine and its derivatives, the Government has also confronted the banking and energy companies with extraordinary taxes on these sectors. Despite business rejection, the Government has hinted that they could become permanent.

In this long list of business conflicts, the Government has had a defeat. The Executive has not managed to prevent the change of Ferrovial’s headquarters to the Netherlands, a destination with extensive tax advantages, with the aim of reorganizing its structure and facilitating its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. Despite public pressure and the possibility of losing tax incentives, the company led by Rafael del Pino continued with its plan.