The Strategist

Catalonia crisis jeopardizes M&A deals in Spain


10/18/2017 - 14:33



Spanish companies, which have experienced a boom in mergers and acquisitions this year, are now faced with an unexpected problem in the form of a referendum on the independence of Catalonia, Bloomberg writes.



David Adam Kess
David Adam Kess
According to Bloomberg, the volume of deals involving Spanish properties increased by 83% to $ 62 billion this year. At the same time, the country's economy has been growing at least 3% for the third consecutive year. Since Spain has experienced the worst recession in recent years, the country has faced terrorist attacks, the collapse of a major bank and a 10-month period of political impasse without a government last year. Despite this, Spain's economy continued to develop.

However, the Catalan government’s fight for seclusion from the control of Madrid can become a much more serious obstacle.

"Catalonia is now a storm that can turn into a typhoon if it is not resolved on time," said Jose Maria Balana, corporate partner of the Madrid law firm Hogan Lovells, "The uncertainty surrounding this has already caused a negative impact on the deals and international investors; some of them suspended or simply canceled the deals."

As reported earlier this week, Spain rejected Catalonia's declaration of independence, declaring it invalid.

Madrid provided the Catalan authorities with a deadline for Monday morning for an official reply, hoping to get a clearer explanation as to whether the region wants independence from Spain. However, a letter that the Spanish authorities received two hours before the deadline there were no clear explanations. Carles Puigdemont, the leader of Catalonia, once again proposed holding a meeting with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to discuss the situation in Catalonia.

Rajoy gave Puigdemont time until Thursday to abandon the demands for independence; otherwise the central government will establish direct control over the region.
 
Uncertainty in the north-eastern region, which accounts for one-fifth of Spain's economy, begins to have a negative impact on the country's economy, notes Bloomberg.

Business confidence in Spain weakened for the first time in seven quarters, the National Institute of Statistics said last week. According to the European Commission, consumer confidence has been declining over the past two months.

Since October 1, about 700 companies have transferred their legal bases from Catalonia to other parts of Spain, the newspaper El Pais wrote with reference to the data of the Spanish Collegium of Registrars.

On Monday, the government lowered its economic growth forecast for 2018 from 2.6% to 2.3%.

source: bloomberg.com




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