Agbar moves its global headquarters to Madrid

Published October 12th, 2017

Suez’s Catalunya-based subsidiary Agbar has announced that it intends “to shift its headquarters temporarily” from Barcelona to Madrid to protect investors from the uncertainty caused by the Catalan independence referendum.

“Constitutional stability would need to be restored” before a move back to Barcelona would be considered, an Agbar spokeswoman told GWI. Agbar subsidiaries such as Sorea and CASSA will not be moving their headquarters from Catalunya, she added.

A number of other Catalunya-based firms have made similar announcements in recent days, although FCC’s majority shareholder, Carlos Slim, has said that the water and environmental services group will not be moving its official headquarters from Barcelona.

A threatened imposition of direct rule from Madrid, which could entail the removal of Catalan autonomy in the area of water management, seems an increasingly likely scenario. An eventual independent Catalan state would have to negotiate joint management of the river Ebro with Spain.