Nortegas, the second largest gas distributor in Spain, has hired former Secretary of State for Trade Jaime García-Legaz as the director of the parent company. The appointment comes amid peak turmoil in the sector, in the midst of the worst energy crisis in decades, due to the exponential growth of gas as a result of the Ukraine war.
Former Mariano Rajoy government official and former director of the Jose Maria Aznar FAES Foundation has been appointed director of the parent company of the Basque group Nature Investments SARL, which lives in Luxembourg. According to official documents, the appointment took effect on March 23.
elDiario.es asked Naturgas on Friday whether it had appointed García-Legaz as an independent member or a representative of any fund that controls the company, without receiving a response from an Euskadi-based group. Garcia-Legas refused to attend this media.
The former Murcian politician holds a degree in Business Administration from the University College of Financial Research (CUNEF) and a PhD in Economics from Complutense University in Madrid. A commercial technician and state economist since 1994, he was a PP MP until 2011 and Secretary of State for Commerce from 2015 until he moved to the background after the case of little Nicholas was announced as chairman of the state CESCE. , One of the highest paid in the public sector.
From 2017 to 2018, he became the CEO of Aena, whose director of an international subsidiary continues to work. Following the dismissal of the CEO of the Spanish airport owner, he applied to join the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), but quickly moved into the private sector.
Currently, in addition to being a member of Nortegas’s parent company, he is the director of the Ahorro Corporación Securities Company, Canal de Isabel II, a public company that controls the Madrid community, and Dia’s network. He was the only director in a supermarket chain to have survived a screening at the group’s board in May 2019 following the arrival in his capital of Russian oligarch Mikhail Friedman, who is now EU-sanctioned for invading Ukraine.
In one of his last interviews published in El Español in January, Garcia-Legas did not point to a serious energy crisis that is already hurting the economy, but he mentioned the “great opportunity” European funds have traditionally had. Very effectively absorbed by medium and large companies. SMEs need to help, but in other ways. These funds should not be focused. They should be aimed at promoting a more efficient economy from the outset. Energy. In terms of more supported technology in production. “
By the end of 2020, approximately 230 Nortegas employees, known as Naturgas until 2018, were acquired in July 2017 for € 2.591 million, including debt, by a consortium of institutional investors Energias de Portugal (EdP) led by a banking investment. Firm JP Morgan, Sovereign Property Fund from Abu Dhabi, Gulf Cooperation Council, Swiss Life Insurer and British Covalis Capital Fund.
According to Expansión, recently, a US bank took control of 75% of its holdings after acquiring a stake in this Arab fund using its pre-emptive right to buy.
In recent months, and as Naturgy prepares for its spin-off with two different companies, there has been speculation about Nortegas’s potential future integration with other companies in the sector, such as Madrileña de Gas, which also owns several foundations. The sales process has just opened.
In the case of the firm whose parent company is a subsidiary of García-Legaz, it supplies natural gas and propane gas (LPG) through a network of more than 8,000 kilometers located in the 383 municipalities of Asturias, Cantabria and Euskad. The Group closed the first half of 2021 with 1,052 million customers, up 1.3%, of which 963,000 were residential and commercial and 87,900 industrial.
According to the latest data from CNMC, its share in the retail sector by September 2021 reached 12.19%, with 971,302 supply points, slightly above Madrileña Red de Gas (11.19%) and far from Nedgia, the Naturgy distributor (67.6%). .
Nortegas, which is looking for ways to diversify into cleaner energies or processes such as hydrogen production from renewable energy or biomethane, achieved revenue of 216 million by 2020 and total operating profit (EBITDA) of 174 million, slightly down in 2019.
In the first half of 2021, it recorded normal revenue of 112.2 million, slightly more than in 2020, gross operating profit (ebitda) of 89 million and net profit of 21.7 million, down 20.8%, due to higher financial expenses. At that time his net debt was less than 1100 million.
These are the data before the gas price out of control, which forced the government to set a limit on the regulated gas tariff (TUR) in September at the expense of reducing the tariff deficit (gap between revenue and regulated costs) in the gas sector. .
Source: El Diario
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