Bank bailout to spark firesale of corporate Spain

By Tracy Rucinski and Carlos Ruano

MADRID | Tue Jun 26, 2012

(Reuters)

(Reuters) – The European bailout for Spain’s banks will push them to sell an empire of stakes in the nation’s top companies, ending a cozy culture of corporate-banking links and prompting a wider shake-up in ownership of the company landscape.

Spain formally requested euro zone rescue loans to recapitalize debt-laden former savings banks on Monday, but those who receive funds will be subject to European Union state-aid rules that include selling equity assets.

With the price of such assets languishing as the euro zone’s financial crisis drags on, that will involve the likely fire sale of big chunks of Spain’s corporate titans, including telecoms leader Telefonica, oil major Repsol and power firm Iberdrola

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