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ACS ‘Committed’ to Iberdrola, May Raise Its Holding to 30%

Actividades de Construccion & Servicios SA may raise its stake in Iberdrola SA to 30 percent as it battles in court to gain representation on the power company’s board, Chief Executive Officer Florentino Perez said.

“We are more committed than ever to our holding in Iberdrola and being its biggest shareholder,” Perez said today during a webcast, without providing details on Madrid-based ACS’s strategy for increasing the stake.

ACS, Spain’s biggest construction company, already controls 20.2 percent of Iberdrola’s shares and is suing the Bilbao, Spain-based utility, the country’s largest, to give it board seats. The case is being heard in a court in Bilbao, and trial proceedings started on Jan. 18. Phone calls to Iberdrola’s press office seeking comment on Perez’s remarks weren’t answered.

The building company’s holding, valued at about 7 billion euros ($9.6 billion), has risen from about 12 percent in April. A stake exceeding 20 percent allows ACS to incorporate a share of Iberdrola’s profit in its own earnings rather than just booking dividend gains.

Iberdrola is also the world’s biggest producer of wind energy, and it takes in more revenue than any peer in the U.S. Iberdrola has rejected ACS’s demand for board representation, saying the two companies compete in areas such as renewable-energy services. ACS has said its renewable-energy business is too small to be considered competition and has put the division up for sale.

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