News / Bill Gates acquires a 6% stake in FCC

Bill Gates acquires a 6% stake in FCC

🕔 October 23, 2013
ACS sells majority stake in police stations in Spain

Spanish builder FCC announced on Monday that Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has become its second largest shareholderFCC said that Gates has bought 6 % of the firm for 113.5 million euros at Friday's closing price of 14.9 euros per share.

The purchase is welcome news for the firm, which is fighting to overhaul its business and return to profit after a construction and property crash that slashed its share price by around 80 percent.

The purchase makes Gates the second biggest shareholder after chairwoman Esther Koplowitz, one of Spain's wealthiest individuals and a philanthropist, like Gates.

Juan Bejar, CEO of FCC,  said in an interview:

"A long-term investment by an investor of the calibre of Bill Gates is much more important than the short-term effect it may have upon the shares."

FCC is now under pressure to renegotiate debt terms with creditor banks to refinance around 5 billion euros of debt that falls due this year and next.

FCC is in the middle of a divestment plan, part of its Strategic Plan. This Plan calls for debt reduction by €2.2 billion, concentration on profitable businesses and geographic areas, and adjustments in structural costs. FCC announced in June, that its subsidiary Alpine had to present a voluntary declaration of insolvency.

In July, FCC reached an agreement to sell 49% of water company SmVak, in the Czech Republic, to Mitsui for 97 million euro. Earlier, in June, FCC agreed to sell its 50% stake in Proactiva Medio Ambiente to French multinational Veolia Environnement for €150 million.

 The company won a multibillion euro contract in July to build a metro in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh.

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