EU responds to Efacec sale ‘in the coming weeks’

  • ECO News
  • 7 September 2022

The operation's pre-notification was made in May. After intensive exchange of information it was possible to proceed with the delivery of the formal notification.

The Portuguese government expects a response from the European Commission in the coming weeks regarding the deal to sell Efacec to DST, the Secretary of State for Treasury and Finance, João Nuno Mendes, told ECO.

The operation’s pre-notification was made in May, and after an intensive exchange of information, it was possible to proceed with the delivery of the formal notification. “In the coming weeks there should be a response from the Commission,” João Nuno Mendes told ECO on the sidelines of the press conference to present the package of measures to mitigate the impact of inflation on household income.

The need for additional explanations has to do with the fact that the European Competition Directorate General (DGComp) initially considered that the terms of the operation constituted state aid, as ECO has previously reported.

Brussels was inclined to consider that Banco de Fomento’s financing to Efacec, provided for in the deal, does not respect market conditions and therefore considered state aid.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Braga construction company, in a statement, warned that DST “under no circumstances will it accept to take part in a transaction that represents state aid.”

The process has been dragging on since July 2, 2020, when the government nationalised 71.73% of Efacec. The sale to DST was formally signed on March 25, although the decision to hand over the company to the construction company had been taken a month earlier ( February 24). The final chapters are coming soon. At least that is the government’s expectation, which should still keep a stake of up to 25% in Efacec resulting from the capitalisation of Parpública.