© The Financial Times Ltd 2015 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
October 20, 2011 7:34 pm
The chairman of Sacyr Vallehermoso, once one of Spain’s leading building companies, has been ousted by the company’s board, bringing to an end the career of one of Spain’s most controversial construction magnates.
Luis Del Rivero, who had chaired Sacyr since 2004, and led it through Spain’s debt-fuelled construction bubble over the past decade, was evicted unanimously by its board of directors after a meeting on Thursday to discuss his actions during the company’s long-running battle with Repsol, the Spanish oil group, people close to the board said.
Mr Del Rivero, who had been warring with Repsol after using billions of euros of debt to buy a fifth of its shares before the crisis, leaves Sacyr battling to refinance a €4.9bn ($6.7bn) bank loan used to fund the deal by the middle of December.
The Sacyr board criticised Mr Del Rivero for signing with Mexico’s Pemex a recent “pact of aggression” against the oil group, and as a result of his exit, the shareholder pact between the state-controlled group and Sacyr, which held a combined stake of just under 30 per cent, was now void, one person with knowledge of the board meeting said.
Manuel Manrique, Sacyr’s chief executive, was appointed the new chairman at the meeting. Mr Del Rivero, a politically connected businessman who once used Sacyr as a vehicle to try to seize control of BBVA, Spain’s second-largest bank by assets, had announced before the board meeting that he had formed part of a group controlling 26.95 per cent of the builder’s shares.
Mr Del Rivero, who controls 12.6 per cent of Sacyr, made the deal with Jose Manuel Loureda, a descendant of the group’s founders and the owner of 12.65 per cent, and Francisco Gayo, who holds 1.7 per cent. Mr Manrique, who owns 6 per cent of Sacyr’s shares, had not signed the pact.
Some of the Spanish savings banks that hold 12.1 per cent of Sacyr shares had argued that Mr Del Rivero’s aggressive tactics had endangered the company by making it less likely that Repsol would raise its dividends and provide cash that Sacyr desperately needs to service its debts.
Sacyr shares had hit an all-time high of just under €50 in 2007, but they have collapsed to a current price of about €5 as Spain’s domestic construction industry ground to a halt, and the builder began to chafe under the weight of the debts it had incurred.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
Sign up for email briefings to stay up to date on topics you are interested in