Change of direction from the leader of one of the country’s largest oil companies. The president of the Andalusian cooperative Dcoop, Antonio Luque, has asked the Government for “help” so that the oil multinational Deoleo, which is currently studying the market for a potential sale, as it has admitted before the National Market Commission of Securities (CNMV), “remains in Spain”.

Luque considers that oil is a strategic sector for Spain and believes that the Executive should, at least, closely observe a possible sale operation, given the risk that it ends up in the hands of foreign capital. This was stated in a meeting with journalists held in Madrid, in which he analyzed the situation in the sector, delved into the issue of prices and presented the company’s results for 2023.

Regarding the possible sale of Deoleo, Luque has specified that the first thing its owners must do is clarify if the company is for sale. It should be remembered that on October 9, Deoleo confirmed to the CNMV that it had started a “market survey process to find out its strategic alternatives, including a potential sale”, with the financial advice of Lazard. Although weeks later its president and CEO, Ignacio Silva, publicly stated that the company “is not for sale.”

In an interview published in Actualidad Econ√≥mica this Sunday, Silva explained that, although “there is no sales notebook”, a “global sweep” has been done to explore its options and that the CVC fund would leave the company “when someone wants pay for it what they consider it to be worth. He also advanced that the highest bidder must be a buyer with a “long-term vocation” who seeks the company’s profitability within 20 years.

Asked by journalists about these statements, Luque confirmed that Dcoop continues studying the purchase of Deoleo, although it is currently on hold due to the complexity of the operation. “There is no doubt that Deoleo is for sale,” he stated, later ensuring that the Government has to “help” the company remain in Spanish hands. Although “we are in a free market economy,” he said, “there are things that the Executive can do to ensure that the company stays here,” including “helping financially” if there are “Spanish companies interested” in buying it.

Luque has insisted that oil is a strategic sector for our country and has compared the situation of Deoleo with that of Telef√≥nica to reinforce the argument of government intervention. However, he has assured that what “worries him most” is that the eventual buyer “defends the quality.” “It is more important than the nationality of the buyer,” he stated.

Already analyzing the situation that the oil sector is going through in our country, hit by a drought that has cut, for now, two harvests in a row, causing a collapse in sales in volume and an unprecedented rise in prices, Luque has not ventured to predict when prices in supermarkets will drop. “No one knows, it will depend on the water,” he concluded.

Although in recent weeks there have been decreases in prices at origin, the president of Dcoop has warned that the transfer to shelves is not immediate and has projected that we will still experience “a few months of price fluctuations of up to 10 % up and down”. “We have never been in stocks as low as those we have now,” he lamented.

Despite the complex situation, Luque has told the media that the agri-food cooperative Dcoop, which markets not only oil, but also wine, cereals, goat’s milk and nuts, expects to invoice close to 1.4 billion euros this year. surpassing the record of 1,237 million in 2022. Even so, he has warned that 2024 will be “a complicated year.”