Inditex founder Amancio Ortega has acquired a 12% stake in the capital of Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN), the operator of the Portuguese electricity grid. As reported this Friday by REN to the Portuguese stock market supervisor (CMVM), the purchase was made through Pontegadea Inversiones, one of the companies of the family office who manages the personal investments of Ortega, considered the richest man in Spain. The operation is known a day after the Pontegadea Group reported a very similar movement in Spain, where Ortega has become the second largest shareholder in Red Eléctrica (REE) after taking over 5% of the company.
The transaction of 12% of REN shares has been agreed with Mazoon, an Oman Oil company, and is valued at about 190 million euros. Oman Oil, a state-owned company from the Sultanate of the Middle East, announced months ago its intention to exit the capital of the Portuguese energy company. From now on, Pontegadea will be the second largest shareholder of the Portuguese electricity grid operator, with just under half of what the State Grid Corporation of China has, with 25%. US investment bank Lazard is third with 7%.
Pontegadea is the investment arm with which Ortega, whose fortune estimates Forbes in more than 66,000 million euros. Most of its investments are focused on real estate assets, but it also has industrial interests. The most relevant, and the one that constitutes its main source of wealth, is 59.29% of shares in Inditex, the textile giant that Ortega founded and which is present throughout the world through Zara and the rest of its fashion brands . But it is becoming more and more frequent that it also takes a stake in other companies. De Telxius, a Telefónica subsidiary that owns telecommunications networks, has 9.99%.
But it is in the energy sector where, for the moment, Pontegadea’s industrial holdings are focusing. At the end of 2019, it acquired 5% of Enagás, to which are added the two operations that have just been known in the electricity grid operators in Spain and Portugal. The acquisition of 5% of REE, known this Thursday, is valued at about 465 million euros and means that Ortega is the second largest shareholder behind the State (which controls 20% through the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales) . It so happens that this 5% is the ceiling that a private investor can acquire in Red Eléctrica, as specified in the bylaws of the company, whose service is considered essential, to preserve its independence.
After a 2020 of relative investment calm, marked by income and lower results as a result of the coronavirus, Pontegadea has announced three significant operations this month. In addition to the entry into the capital of REE and REN, Ortega’s investment vehicle confirmed this month that it has bought an office building in central London, with which it will become the landlord of the Cinven fund, which it has in that property its headquarters. Before, in February, the purchase of a hotel on the coast of Cádiz transcended, a relatively small operation in volume compared to those known this summer, since it was valued at about 25 million.