CriteriaCaixa increases the dividend for Fundación La Caixa. The country’s largest foundation has had a budget of over 500 million over the years. And the money of the business holding company is the main source of its financing. Last year, still with a strong impact of the pandemic, payments fell compared to the average of recent years, but this figure has normalized in 2022. During the full year, it would have paid remuneration of 375 million euros to its sole shareholder.
The organization last Friday approved the issuance of the fifth dividend of the year, which is worth 90 million euros. The business group headed by Isidre Fainé also presides over the foundation—approved from Palma de Mallorca, where it is headquartered, the dividend “charged to issue premium items”. The amount will be paid in a single payment over the next two months.
In this way Criteria would have paid 90 crores in December, 80 crores in September, 75 crores in June, 70 crores in April and 60 crores in February. A total of 375 million which boosts the previous year’s figure, 360 million spread over four payments. In 2021, the impact on the results of its investment portfolio due to the pandemic was still great. Its main investors, Naturgy and Caixabank, have predicted a good year for 2023, with profits rising by double digits so far this year.
Issued dividends are the main source of income for the Foundation, the other being the tax benefits obtained by forming a group with Caixabank and Criteria. In addition, it receives European funding (6.9 million in 2022) and also generates income from its current activity (3.1 million). For this year, the organization budgeted income of 557.6 million and expenditure of 540.8 million.
For this reason, the holding company only invests in companies with an aggressive dividend policy. This was clarified in the midst of the Naturgy takeover bid by IFM, when the fund opened the door to slashing shareholder remuneration to ensure growth. “Naturgy’s dividends are a fundamental pillar of income that the Foundation receives and it fully allocates to its Obera Social, with investments of more than 500 million euros each year in social programs, culture and science, research and health, and education.” does. Scholarship”, Fane replied again.
Criterion officially has no fixed dividend target, although the foundation’s latest report called for a $380 million dividend, five million more than the group is expected to pay.
Within its portfolio, the group stands out among the dividends it receives from CaixaBank, of which it holds 30%, and Naturgy, of which it holds 26.7%. His percentage in both companies means more than 600 million so far this year. Bank of East Asia, in which it holds 18.9%, is in line with the remuneration demanded by the organization. Cellnex (4.5%) is a different case, an organization more focused on growth. It has more than 2% from Telefónica and for months has had a policy of increasing its participation based on the purchase of small packages of shares.
In addition to its large industrial and financial holdings, in 2018 Criteria embarked on a path to diversify its portfolio. By looking for companies – always from the OECD – that have dividends as one of their priorities, the firm has built up a portfolio that stood at €2,171 million as of June 30. With the exception of Portuguese Sonai dedicated to retail trading, the group does not exceed the minimum level to communicate participation in any case.
Criterion moves forward with sale of Sabah
Criterion is also in the running to sell Sabah Car Park Group, which controls 99.5%, while investing in shares of listed companies around the world. The group, headed by Isidre Fainé, initiated the divestment in September and has been in talks for weeks with Interparking, a Belgian group with around 400,000 locations around Europe.
Negotiations are moving forward on the right foot, so it’s already in the exclusivity stage. There is no set date on which the operations could be closed, although the business holding always stated that they wanted to sign the transaction within a year from when it was opened.
Sabah’s case has become rare within the range of norm investors. In none of them it owns more than 30%, so the group wants to adapt its current strategy of percentages and remain a minority shareholder in the company, which will have a presence in up to 14 countries: Germany, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Slovakia, Italy, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Romania, Poland and Netherlands.
The disinvestment comes after a previous attempt that was scrapped with the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. Criterion marketed its investment shortly before the massive spread of Covid and received offers from Australian Macquarie and Proa Capital. However, the price could not meet the demands of the holding company and the advent of the pandemic cut short the entire process.
Sabah also reduced its losses to 11 million in 2021 compared to 44 million registered in 2020, a year in which the company still recorded the impact of Covid19 on its activity in the first quarter. The company reached 234 million in revenue during the past year, 18% higher than 2020 and 22% lower than 2019, the year before the pandemic. Ebitda reached 103 million, which is 43% higher than in 2020, but still 25% lower than the Ebitda registered in 2019.
Now, the firm already looks to be at similar levels to pre-Covid, so the Catalan group chose to reactivate sales. According to Criterion accounts, the organization is valued at 689 million after the impact of the pandemic.
For the first quarter of 2022, Sabah still had 13% less revenue and 20% less EBITDA than the same period in 2019, according to the latest data available from the company. Virus.
Car Park Group signed a new refinance in July for 465 million euros, which it was supposed to pay to the bank on 31 December. The firm extended the period into a short renewal while waiting for the new shareholder to make a long-term decision on what to do with the liability.
who is interparking
Interparking is one of the European giants in the parking sector. It is currently controlled by three shareholders: Dutch pension fund APG, which holds a 40% stake; Insurer AG, more than 50%, and the firm Parkimo.
The company has not made its results public in the last two years. In 2019, it achieved a revenue of 148.4 million euros. It has more than 418,000 seats across the continent and is the market leader in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.