A part of the operation is subject to approval by the Ministry of Defense


The acting Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, has assured that her portfolio “will study with all rigor” and “seriousness” the entry of the Saudi group STC into Telefónica, although she has stressed that the Arab company has not yet referred it to the Ministry of Defense the official request to consolidate the entirety of his entry into the Spanish operator, of which he has become its main shareholder.

In a press conference held this Monday, Robles highlighted that Defensa has a “fundamental role” in this operation, with which STC acquired 9.9% of Telefónica – 4.9% in shares and 5% in instruments financials– in exchange for 2,100 million euros.

In this sense, in order to carry out the actions corresponding to 5% of the financial instruments, STC must have the approval of the Ministry of Defense due to the current regulations on non-EU investors who intend to acquire more than 10% of a listed strategic company.

However, this threshold is lowered to 5% in the case of companies with interests in the field of national defense, such as Telefónica.

“The vast majority of the activities carried out in the Ministry of Defense are with Telefónica and, therefore, it is a company that is managing strategic interests of national defense,” stated the minister.

“As we are in that situation, in which the most important thing is security and national defense, we are going to proceed with the application of the norm, to study with all rigor, with all seriousness, the request that (STC) makes to us, under what conditions it is going to be done,” he added.

Along these lines, he has highlighted that, at the moment, he is unaware of STC’s plans in Telefónica because the Saudi group has not yet formally forwarded that request to the Ministry of Defense.

“We will study a request, which has not formally been submitted to the Ministry of Defense. Therefore, we do not know under what terms, under what conditions. What is very clear is that the will is to study it, always with a priority, that It is what matters to all of us, security and national defense,” Robles concluded.