Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

RETORTILLO: Berkeley Energiais challenging uranium mine veto Credit: CC/mscs

Uranium mine spat AUSTRALIAN mining group Berkeley is seeking $1 billion (€921 million) in damages from the Spanish government.

The company launched arbitration proceedings with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes via its Spanish subsidiary Berkely Energia on May 28 after Madrid refused definitive approval for a uranium mine in Retortillo (Salamanca).

Permission for the mine was granted in 2013, but the government announced in 2021 and again in 2023 that it intended to prevent the project from going ahead.

An Environment ministry spokesperson explained that Spain’s Nuclear Security Council report had raised concerns regarding the storage of radioactive waste at the facility, but declined to comment on the arbitration request.

In decline THE Evening Standard, a London daily since 1827, is to become a weekly paper.

It has lost £84.5 million (€99.3 million) over the last six years and now relies on funding from co-owner Evgeny Lebedev. Other owners include a bank allegedly linked to the Saudi government.

Distributed at the capital’s Underground stations, the Standard has been hit hard by the introduction of Wi-Fi on the Tube as well as changing consumer habits and a switch to working from home.

Industry sources also maintain that Lebedev would have sold the publication some ago, but has been unable to find a buyer.

Gallina Blanca payout THE Carulla family, which owns GB Foods, received €52 million in dividends in 2023 via its Agrolimen and Coveral Inversiones companies.

This was the biggest payout in the last 14 years and the first since 2020, according to accounts submitted to the  Registro Mercantil, Spain’s equivalent of Companies House.

These revealed that the company, which is best known by its former name of Gallina Blanca, had a consolidated net profit of €143.4 million,  14 per cent more than in 2022.

Try later THE UK government temporarily shelved plans to sell part of its remaining shares in the NatWest bank, whose 2008 bailout cost £45.5 billion (€53.4 billion).

The sale, preceded an M&C Saatchi advertising campaign, should have taken place in June, but with a General Election announced for July 4, the Treasury confirmed that a retail offer “would not happen” during the election period.

Any sale was unlikely until the end of this year, and the new government would have to review the proposals, Treasury sources said.

Teknia results CAR component manufacturer Teknia, based in Zaldibar (Vizacaya) posted a record €460 million turnover for 2023.

Although this was a 19.5 per cent increase on the previous year, its net profit fell by 12.5 per cent to €14 million, the multinational manufacturer said.

The company, which has 1,000 inside Spain, explained that it had doubled spending on equipment, which grew from €13.98 million in 2022, to 31.2 million in 2023.

H&W warning HARLAND & WOLFF might have to close its Arnish and Methil shipyards in Scotland and concentrate on Royal Navy contracts.

The company, always remembered for having built the Titanic at its Belfast yard, is counting on a £200 million (€235.16 million) loan. This will fall through if it cannot secure a guarantee from the government, Harland & Wolff chiefs warned.

According to UK media sources, 500 Arnish and Methil workers have been told that they risk being laid off if the loan does not arrive.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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