Since the eighties, privatizations became a common feature in the economic policy of many countries. A feature which was also adopted by Spain, after its accession to the then called European Economic Community, when the state-owned enterprises in our country were forced to start their adaptation to Community law regarding deregulation and defense of competition.
It is in this context that, beginning in 1985 and following the international trend, started in Spain the processes for the divestment and sale of state-owned enterprises. The institutions in charge of carrying them out in Spain have been the Instituto Nacional de Industria, TENEO, the Instituto Nacional de Hidrocarburos, the Agencia Industrial del Estado, the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales, and Patrimonio del Estado through, since 1996, of the state-owned enterprise Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Patrimoniales, until it was merged into SEPI itself.
Since the start of the sale processes of those state-owned enterprises until now, over 120 companies have been privatized in Spain in which the State had a shareholding participation. In financial terms, these deals have raised around 45,000 Million Euros.
Most of that income comes from the sale of state-owned enterprises through public offerings, a system through which 14 companies have been privatized, wholly or in part, some of them in several tranches. The number of public offerings made by the State up to date amount to 29, with a total turnover of about 32,000 Million Euros. Up to 20 of those transactions included a retailer tranche, which has promoted the entry of a large number of retail investors in the equity market.
These transactions have promoted the entry into the Stock Exchange of large Spanish entrepreneurial groups which appeared and consolidated thanks to the State¿s intervention. This is the case of Repsol, Endesa, Telefónica, Tabacalera (Altadis) or Iberia. Equally, some of the privatized companies, through a direct sale or their listing in the Stock Exchange, have taken part in the creation of large European industrial groups in such important industries as aerospace, in which CASA became integrated within EADS, or the iron and steel industry, with ACERALIA integrated ARCELOR (now ArcelorMittal).
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