THE Spanish government’s open opposition to the proposed takeover of Talgo by Hungarian consortium Ganz-Mavag is prompting others to consider bidding for the rolling stock manufacturer, including Škoda Group, reports in the Spanish media suggest.

According to Cinco Días, Škoda is partnering with CriteriaCaixa, an investment holding company, to launch a bid for Talgo. El Economista also reported that a meeting took place between the government and Škoda at the end of April to lay the foundations for a bid.

El Economista also reported in March that Stadler was in talks to purchase a 40% stake in Talgo as an alternative to the Ganz-Mavag offer.

Škoda told IRJ that it does not comment on market speculation.

Ganz-Mavag made an offer worth €619m, or €5 a share, for all of Talgo’s shares in March. This was around a 20% premium on the manufacturer’s share price at the time of the takeover bid. Talgo’s shares were trading at €4.42 on June 10.

The offer was approved by Talgo’s board of directors, but has not been approved by the government. Indeed, Spain’s transport minister, Mr Oscar Puente, has voiced his opposition to Ganz-Mavag’s proposal, stating that the government “would do everything possible” to prevent the deal from proceeding. The government is particularly concerned by Ganz-Mavag’s alleged close ties with the administration of Hungary’s prime minister, Mr Viktor Orban, who is considered an ally of Russian president, Mr Vladimir Putin.

Talgo’s strategic importance to Spanish industry and because Ganz-Mavag is proposing an outright takeover means that the deal is subject to approval by the Spanish cabinet. National competition authority CNMC will not proceed with investigating the deal until the cabinet has reached its decision, which is expected within a month.

Ganz-Mavag Europe is a consortium of Hungarian rolling stock manufacturer Ganz-Mavag, itself owned by Magyar Vagon Befektetési Vagyonkezelő, and Hungarian public investment fund Corvinus. Magyar Vagon acquired the 50% stake held by Russia’s Transmashholding in the Dunakeszi Jarmujavito plant in Hungary in 2022.