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Saudi Telecom Company becomes Spanish Telefónica's top shareholder

Telefónica is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world.
Telefónica is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world. Copyright NACHO DOCE/REUTERS
Copyright NACHO DOCE/REUTERS
By Verónica Romano
Published on Updated
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Saudi Arabia's STC Group has amassed a 9.9% stake worth €2.1 billion in the Spanish multinational telecommunications company

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The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has bought a 9.9% stake in Telefónica for €2.1 billion, making it the largest shareholder in the Spanish telecommunications company.

Telefónica has informed the National Securities Market Commission in Spain of the transaction, which will be carried out through the STC Group's acquisition of shares representing 4.9% of Telefónica's share capital and through its acquisition of financial instruments for the other 5%.

The telecoms company is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world.

STC has no intention of acquiring control or a majority stake in Telefónica, according to its CEO. Olayan Alwetaid stressed that "this is a great investment opportunity that allows us to use our solid balance sheet while maintaining our attractive dividend policy".

Until this moment, Spanish bank BBVA was Telefónica's largest shareholder, with 4.87%, followed by US fund BlackRock with 4.48%.

STC will obtain the voting rights corresponding to the 5% in financial instruments after obtaining the necessary approvals from regulators.

The group says the investment reflects its confidence in Telefónica's management, strategy, and ability to create value.

Saudi Telecom Company is the Middle East's digital leader and is listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of €49.2 billion.

Additional sources • EFE

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