Isabel dos Santos assures she will remain Galp’s shareholder

  • ECO News
  • 27 February 2018

The Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reveals that there are changes occurring in Galp's capital, quoting a source from Amorim Energia. Isabel dos Santos assures she is staying.

Amorim Energia, the largest shareholder of Galp, is considering to reduce the 33.34% stake it holds in the largest Portuguese oil company, Galp, according to sources close to the subsidiary, quoted by El Confidencial. In the origin of the decision is, according to the Spanish newspaper, a distancing between Galp’s shareholders — the Amorim family, Sonangol and Isabel dos Santos.

Even so, after the news were disclosed, a source close to Isabel dos Santos assured to ECO the businesswoman does not want to leave the oil company and has a long term shareholder position, precisely by means of Amorim Energia. So far, it has not been possible to obtain reactions from the Amorim family or from Sonangol itself.

According to the piece of news disclosed by El Confidencial, this move may also be related to the difficult relationships between Sonangol’s leaders and Isabel dos Santos because of Galp’s dividends, in which they are indirectly present. With Isabel dos Santos having no maneuver room in Sonangol, and after Américo Amorim’s death, in the Summer of 2017, the historical bonds which connected these investments disappeared, so the family of the “cork world king”, as El Confidencial calls him, and the daughter of former Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, decided to cut loose from their ties in Amorim Energia. According to the Spanish economic newspaper, everything points to an equity stake sale.

It is no trivial matter, especially considering the fact that Amorim Energia has 33.34% of Galp, a much higher stake than the second largest shareholder — the Portuguese State holds 7% of the oil company. Amorim’s shareholder stake is assessed by the market in around 3.8 billion euros.

The Amorim Group, a holding from the Amorim family, holds 55% of Amorim Energia and 45% of Amorim Energia belong to Esperaza Holding which, in turn, has a minority share in Sonangol, Angola’s oil company. This vehicle has a minority stake from Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and partner of Américo Amorim in several businesses. Besides, Isabel dos Santos left the leadership of Sonangol last year, when current Angolan President, João Lourenço, decided to remove her from the position she assumed after her father abandoned the leadership of the country, after 38 years.