Ferrovial, a multinational in the construction of large energy and mobility infrastructures, such as highways, airports, and other works, announced its exit from Spain. The company declared that its Dutch subsidiary will absorb the Spanish parent company, which means practically the transfer of its headquarters to the Netherlands. The company’s reorganization responds to its growing internationalization, as by 2022, 82% of its revenues and nearly 96% of its equity will come from its international business.
The company clarified that its head office would continue to operate in Spain and the Netherlands and that employment, activity, and investments would remain unchanged in Spain with no significant tax impact. The government criticized the decision, and some ministers rejected the lack of patriotism of a company “which owes everything to Spain” and which has received public aid.
Rafael del Pino Calvo-Sotelo, an engineer by training and son of the company’s founder, is the chairman of Ferrovial and has headed the company since 2001. Together with his brothers, he owns 35% of Ferrovial’s shares, valued at 6.2 billion euros. The company has been involved in several controversies, the latest being the sanction imposed by the National Markets and Competition Commission for more than 38 million euros for forming a cartel with other construction companies to win public works contracts.
The government’s response to the announcement has been hostile, with ministers criticizing the decision and questioning the company’s patriotism. The controversy is the latest sign of growing tensions between the government and business leaders, with CEOE, the employers’ organization, refusing to participate in negotiations over the latest minimum wage increase. Several government officials have called for higher taxes on certain sectors, such as hydrocarbons or electricity, arguing that they should contribute more to society as they are benefiting from the price increases caused by the Ukrainian conflict.
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