Generalized rejection of BBVA's takeover bid for Sabadell and the Government warns: “We have the last word and it has harmful effects”

“The Government has the final say in authorizing BBVA's takeover bid for Sabadell.” Loud and clear, the Minister of Economy yesterday dispelled the Government's position regarding the operation, which had not been clear since it became known more than a week ago. Carlos Body said forcefully that the transaction follows the steps predetermined by the regulations, but that “the Government has the capacity to make the final decision if necessary.”

Although he recognized that each of the actors involved in this process will analyze the situation “from the point of view of their powers”, such as financial stability – in the case of the European Central Bank (ECB) – or competition – with the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) – the Executive must have the “complete approach to make all the additional economic and financial policy assessments that are necessary.”

Sources from his Ministry were more specific and directly rejected the takeover bid, “both in form and substance”, considering that it “introduces potential harmful effects on the Spanish financial system” and would mean an “increase in the level of concentration that could have a negative impact on employment and the provision of financial services, and a potential additional risk to financial stability.

The Popular Party understands that the Government has had a change of position in the last few hours, since it was aware of the hypothetical merger and “has not censored it” until the eve of the end of the campaign in Catalonia “due to electoralism.” Therefore, he does not see “this sudden overreaction” as credible and points out that “the important thing is to ensure that the result of a commercial operation does not harm the general interests of jobs,” as well as the rights of the clients and users of the entities. . “We understand the concern that any operation that does not comply with this way of proceeding may raise among administrations, institutions, SMEs and savers.”

The president of BBVA, Carlos Torres, sees the film completely differently and is confident that the Government “will end up appreciating the transaction and the value it brings to the Spanish banking market, to the clients and shareholders of both and to society as a whole, because it is “good for everyone and adds value, since employees, shareholders and customers benefit from the best value offer and the best product offer.” Pending the CNMV giving its approval to the prospectus and the authorizations of the Bank of Spain, the CNMC and its counterpart in the United Kingdom and the ECB being confirmed, Torres indicated that “it has been promptly informed and, for the moment, it is not “We have had no obstacles.”

The vice president of the ECB, Luis de Guindos, confirmed that the entity has to authorize the operation according to the “solvency principle and the prudential principle, because what is sought is the stability of the financial system in the euro zone. “Dimensions such as competition are not our concern,” but he did not confirm that a positive view had been given to the transaction.

Negative reactions have also come from other members of the Government, such as Yolanda Díaz, Minister of Labor, who has directly appealed to the Banking Supervision Law to stop the takeover bid. “There is a regulatory framework for this and we are going to apply it,” she threatened. But also from political formations of all stripes and regional governments, such as the Catalan or Valencian Generalitat, whose president, Carlos Mazón, has asked that Valencian shareholders reject the merger because “it destroys value, work, territory and competition. “It makes no sense and provides absolutely nothing new.”

Precisely one of the most controversial points of BBVA's offer refers to the Alicante headquarters, which “evidently will disappear,” Torres himself confirmed, since the merged entity will have its headquarters in Bilbao, and two operational headquarters, the of Madrid and that of Sant Cugat del Vallés, a nod to Catalanism that puts at risk the 500 jobs currently working in Alicante.