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Spain investigates Saudi Arabia’s 9.9% acquisition of Telefonica

Saudi Arabia’s STC Group announced a 9.9% purchase in the $2.1 billion telecom company, but the Spanish government must approve the plan.
People visit the stand of Spanish company Telefonica at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecom industry's biggest annual gathering, in Barcelona on February 27, 2023. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP) (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

DUBAI — The government in Spain is looking into the Saudi Arabian STC Group’s 9.9% acquisition of its telecom giant Telefonica, the country’s acting Economy Minister Nadia Calvino announced on Wednesday.

STC announced the purchase in the $2.1 billion telecom company in a Tuesday press release. 

Calvino said that STC — which is 64% owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund — had contacted the Spanish government after the acquisition to notify it of the agreement. In comments to reporters while on a visit to Brussels, she called Telefonica a "strategic company" for Spain that the government will prioritize it as a strategic interest.

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