The battle for Talgo: Hungarian Magyar Vagon wants to take over the Spanish company

The battle for Talgo: Hungarian Magyar Vagon wants to take over the Spanish company
© Talgo

The Hungarian group Magyar Vagon, under its historical brand Ganz-Mavag, is preparing to finalize and present a Public Acquisition Offer (OPA) for 100% of the shares of the Spanish high-speed train manufacturer Talgo.

The offer, valued at approximately 630 million euros, comes after Magyar Vagon reportedly secured a pre-agreement with banks to circumvent a potential regulatory hurdle posed by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) in Spain. The hurdle in question concerns a clause allowing banks to cancel their loans with Talgo if there's a change in the company's ownership. Talgo currently has 23 entities with credits totaling 329 million euros.

The Hungarian consortium, led by businessmen György Bacsa and András Tombor, aims to leverage Talgo's renowned high-speed train technology to enhance its own capabilities. This technology is considered strategic, especially at a time when sustainable mobility is becoming increasingly important. Despite this, the Spanish Government has signaled its intent to oppose the acquisition, citing concerns over potential Russian involvement and the strategic importance of Talgo to the country's economy and sustainability goals. The government's stance also takes into consideration that Ganz-Mavag is partly owned by the Hungarian government, led by the controversial figure Viktor Orbán, which adds a layer of political complexity to the takeover bid.

This situation underscores the intersection of business, technology, and geopolitics, illustrating how international investments and takeovers, especially in strategically significant sectors like high-speed rail, are subject to a complex web of considerations beyond mere financial transactions. The Spanish Government's potential use of an "anti-OPAS shield" to veto the operation, despite the buyer being European, highlights the intricate balance between encouraging foreign investment and protecting national interests and security.

Talgo stated that will analyze the takeover bid when the prospectus is presented to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) mainly focusing on four key elements:  Whether it will preserve employment and industrial capacity in Spain, maintain the headquarters and management of Talgo in Spain, it will maintain ownership of Patentes Talgo, SLU over intellectual property rights and patents, and achieve the best option for all shareholders and other interest groups. 

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