Criteria Caixa reaches 5% at Telefónica


Criteria Caixa, the holding company that manages the business assets of the “la Caixa” Foundation, today informed the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) that it has reached 5.007% of Telefónica’s share capital. Previously, CriteriaCaixa – chaired by Isidro Fainé and whose CEO is Ángel Simón – had informed the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) that it held a 2.69% stake in the Spanish multinational before the latest increase.

In this sense, the next General Meeting of Telefónica, scheduled for this Friday, April 12, will vote on the renewal of the President of CriteriaCaixa, Isidro Fainé, as sole director of Criteria, instead of representing CaixaBank, as I have it done so far.

The operation corresponds to CriteriaCaixa’s investment policy, which is characterized by an efficient and prudent management of its portfolio, focusing on companies with an attractive dividend policy, such as Telefónica, which allows it to finance the social actions of the “la Caixa” Foundation. In 2023, CriteriaCaixa received a total of 42 million euros in dividends from Telefónica.

Commitment to Telefónica for almost 40 years

The relationship between “la Caixa” and Telefónica dates back to 1987, when the then savings bank invested in the operator for the first time, acquiring 2.5% of its capital. In 1996 the company reached a share of 5% for the first time, which was diluted to 3.6% in 2000 as a result of the various capital increases carried out by Telefónica to finance its international expansion.

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In 2004 the share recovered again to over 5%. Although the investment was initially taken over by “la Caixa”, the stake became part of the perimeter of Criteria CaixaCorp in 2007 as part of the corporate restructuring before the listing. In 2011, with the transition that led to the listing of CaixaBank, the bank began to hold the historic stake in Telefónica. A stake that today reaches 2.51% of the capital.

CriteriaCaixa, in turn, has been building its own direct position in Telefónica’s capital since 2017 through purchases on the market, which now reaches 5,007% after the operation announced today.

First “la Caixa”, later CaixaBank and now CriteriaCaixa, have always been represented on the board of Telefónica

Throughout these years, both “la Caixa” first and later CaixaBank and now CriteriaCaixa have maintained their presence in the governing bodies of the telecommunications company. Currently, this representation is carried out by Isidro Fainé, Vice President of Telefónica, who this year exceeded 30 years as director of the company.

The relationship with Telefónica goes beyond the mere shareholder relationship and both companies maintain a historic commitment to education through technology and innovation as a vehicle for social change. A commitment that was formalized and strengthened in 2016 with the creation of the ProFuturo Foundation by Fundación Telefónica and Fundación “la Caixa”.

ProFuturo is an innovation project with technology to reduce the education gap in the world by providing quality education in vulnerable environments in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, which over the years has already enabled digital literacy to millions of girls from all over the world.

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