The Andalusian engineering group Ayesa has acquired 51 percent of the shareholding of the technology company Sadiel, after acquiring 15.5 percent of the Junta de Andalucía and Endesa, 15 percent of Cajasol and all the shares (a five percent) of Indra. The company, pending the completion of a ‘due diligence’ at the beginning of March, starts from an initial valuation of 35 million.

The Minister of Economy, Innovation and Science, Antonio Ávila, has presided over the signing of this agreement between the president of Ayesa, José Luis Manzanares; Sadiel’s CEO, Rafael Camacho; the general director of the Agency for Innovation and Development of Andalusia (IDEA), Antonio Valverde; Endesa’s territorial director for Andalusia and Extremadura, Francisco Arteaga; the general director of Cajasol, Juan Salido; and the general director of operations of Indra, Santiago Roura.

After the acquisition, the Ayesa Group will become the majority shareholder of Sadiel, with 51 percent of the shareholding; while IDEA and Endesa will have 22 percent, respectively, and Corporación Empresarial Cajasol will maintain 5 percent. The agreement has been reached after seven months of “tough negotiations”, according to Manzanares, with each of the group’s shareholders to reach an agreement on the purchase, which will be carried out in cash.

Within this framework, Sadiel will take advantage of the international infrastructure of the Andalusian engineering group, which already has contracts in Panama for technology, and will generate synergies in civil works with Ayesa with the aim of creating new products and developments, also betting on virtual engineering.

The companies have a workforce of around 3,000 people, half of whom are contributed by Sadiel, and a turnover of around 240 million euros in 2010. In addition, Sadiel, who is closing the accounts for last year, expects to grow above ten percent.

The Minister of Economy underlines the relevance of the operation to strengthen the industrial fabric and makes it clear that the Board has been with Sadiel “from the beginning” and in its consolidation phases, now pointing to a “natural process” of exit of the shareholder to give entry to industrial partners that promote the company.

“The Board has entered sectors with opportunities that the private sector has not developed and then it is logical to go out,” adds Ávila. Thus, he affirms that the acquisition has been “clean and well managed” and will ensure that both companies develop “strongly and with the complementarity of their partners.

In line with this, Valverde makes it clear that the operation has been carried out with the “maximum transparency” and finally the “best option understood by the partners among all those who have shown interest” has been chosen.

Along the same lines, Manzanares has stressed that the purchase of Sadiel is due to strategic reasons, since engineering is “in crisis and companies need more size to compete, diversify, innovate and go abroad”, a situation where Sadiel , “one of the best technological companies in the country, brings more muscle to the group”. In addition, he points to the company’s responsibility with Andalusian economic growth and a “personal challenge”, which makes Ayesa the first Spanish engineering company and one of the 30 largest internationally.

“This is a risky operation, but an exciting one. I understand the concern of the workforce in the face of changes, but they should not be in the least afraid,” says Manzanares, who recalls that the activities of the companies do not overlap, so they do not personal surplus”. Likewise, he mentions the “overhead cost savings” between both companies, unifying areas such as accounting or legal services.

For his part, Camacho has positively assessed the signing of this agreement that promotes the development of the Andalusian technology company and recalled that Sadiel continues to grow, despite the current situation, since it will close 2010 with a billing increase of more than two digits.

Regarding Indra’s departure from the shareholding, the multinational’s general director, Santiago Roura, explains that the company has been in Sadiel from the beginning as a minority shareholder with an industrial role, something that “now loses meaning” with the entry of Ayesa as majority shareholder due to its industrial potential. “This exit does not mean that Indra is not committed to Andalusia, since it has a clear vocation for growth in the Community, as demonstrated by the projects developed”, he insists.

For his part, Arteaga points out that for the moment the decisions in Sadiel have been made “from consensus”, a situation that he expects to continue despite ceasing to be one of the majority partners with the Junta de Andalucía. “From now on, coordination between partners will ensure that decisions are made by consensus with the aim of growing the company,” he adds.

Also, Salido points out that Cajasol will maintain its “bet for the future” by Sadiel and will have a five percent shareholding. In addition, he recalls that Sadiel is one of the first three technology providers of the financial institution.