Muy buen comentario en el WSJ de hoy sobre IBERDROLA. Me temo que algunas cosas solo nos las pueden contar desde fuera...

Better Safe Than Sorry at Iberdrola


Groaning under acquisition-related debt, Iberdrola is in no position to test the patience of ratings agencies and its creditors when it comes to paying down 32.2 billion euros ($44.7 billion) in net borrowings.

The Spanish company is one of Europe's most leveraged utilities, with net debt at more than four times Ebitda, blunting its strategic edge as one of the biggest generators of wind power in the U.S. and Europe.

But Iberdrola has won itself some badly needed breathing space by getting away a 1.3 billion euros capital increase on Wednesday. That may look small for a company with an enterprise value of 60 billion euros. But it should provide some respite from ratings agencies questioning Iberdrola's borderline A-rating over the time management is taking to achieve 2.5 billion euros in planned asset disposals this year.

So far Iberdrola has raised less than one billion euros by selling a stake in a wind-turbine maker and some treasury stock. The Spanish government has agreed in principle to repay Spanish utilities for their subsidy of retail electricity tariffs, a move worth two billion euros to Iberdrola. But it looks as if the details won't be worked out until after the summer.

That left Iberdrola vulnerable to another plunge in financial markets which would make asset sales harder still, jeopardizing its capital spending plans. The company insists the capital hike isn't an alternative to those disposals, which might include its 9.5% stake in Energias de Portugal. It may even now be better placed to make them at a good price, markets permitting, because it's under less pressure to clinch deals quickly.

But even if Iberdrola succeeds in keeping rating agencies and creditors at bay, restoring its credibility with equity investors will take a lot longer. Many continue to question the wisdom of its top-of-the-cycle acquisitions of Scottish Power and Energy East, which some suspect were driven by a desire to thwart a possible takeover attempt by Iberdrola's biggest shareholder, ACS. Iberdrola needs all the financial flexibility it can find to convince investors the buying spree was worth it.