MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish energy group Naturgy said on Thursday its board plans to stick with the current dividend policy regardless of the outcome of a partial takeover bid by Australian fund IFM Investors.
IFM has launched a 4.9 billion euros ($5.8 billion) bid to acquire a 22.69% stake in the Spanish energy group.
Its vice-president, Jaime Siles, who is leading the bid in Spain, said on Wednesday the fund would accept a reduced dividend to support Naturgy’s development plans, prompting speculation of an impending cut. [L8N2QV3LP]
But Naturgy reiterated on Thursday that its board has not “considered in any moment” reviewing the company’s five-year strategic plan approved in July, which includes a dividend policy.
The dividend policy approved “is compatible with the company’s investment and growth ambition, as well as with the financial prudence to maintain a BBB rating level”, Naturgy said in a market filing.
Naturgy also said the goal of the takeover is not to delist the company.
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