Madrid-based satellite operator Hispasat is in the middle of a dispute between the Spanish government and infrastructure business Abertis.
Abertis, which builds and runs some of Europe’s key pay-motorways is in the process of being bought by Italian rival Atlantia. The problem is that Hispasat, included in the deal, is considered by the Spanish government as a “strategic asset” not least because some military frequencies are carried as part of the Hispasat fleet.
Spain’s government has formally asked the Madrid stock market regulator to reverse its previous authorisation for the bid to go ahead.
Abertis owns 57 per cent of Hispasat while the government itself owns more than 9 per cent.
Reuters is reporting that Italy’s Atlantia has stressed that it neither Abertis or Hispasat itself were involved in any activities that related to Spanish national security. Atlantia has also said it would be prepared to sell the Hispasat holdings if required.
Complicating the issue is that Atlantia is no longer the most aggressive bidder for Abertis. That role is now held by German conglomerate Hochtief along with its Spanish business ACS, which is bidding at least €17.1 billion for Abertis.