Indra points to ITP with Constantino Méndez as its great ‘strong man’

With the State preparing its ascent in Indra, controlling up to 28% of the capital, the road is beginning to be clear for his great ambition: to create a great Spanish Defense pole. As a preliminary step, the semi-public company turns its eyes on the manufacturer of engines and turbines in the ITP Aero sector. And from the group chaired by Marc Murtra and the State Company for Industrial Participations (Sepi) a name such as ‘strong man’ is being considered within the structure of the holding company based in the Basque Country. Is about Constantine Mendezwho was Secretary of State, one of the ‘heavyweights’ in this sector.

The bottom Bain Capital Last June was marked as the maximum term to build the consortium that had not been able to build in the second half of last year. In this way, it left the door open for a relevant part (up to 30%) of the shareholders to land Spanish partners. and after the ‘sorpasso’ of Sepi and Murtra in the board of directorswhich will foreseeably become effective at the next general meeting of shareholders before the summer, at Indra Incorporation is studied as a key actor with the purchase of a relevant stake. And this would be accompanied by an important appointment.

The name of Constantino Méndez is being consideredWhoever it was Secretary of State during the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and with Carme Chacón as minister, according to knowledgeable sources. With a good line-up and very good connections in the sector, the current Defense consultant looks very favorably to be Sepi’s key person within an ITP with a strong presence of Indra. He would make a managerial ‘tandem’ together with Marc Murtra (close to the Socialist Party of Catalonia), when the latter ends up assuming the executive stripes in the presidency of Indra.

Méndez was among the last names for the Ministry of Defense in 2018 after Pedro Sánchez’s motion of censure. Finally, Margarita Robles was appointed, who initially wanted the first vice-presidency. Today he holds an advisory position in several consultancies. One of them is Argus, a strategic consulting services company in technological projects and solutions for Defense and Security with many links with the main companies in the sector. Share committee with Julian Garcia Vargas, who was president of the Spanish employers association of the defense industry (TEDAE). He is also a member of the advisory council and ‘senior advisor’ in public administrations of the consulting firm Llorente and Cuenca (LLYC).

Today’s advisor, in whose task he has also been within Indra’s own environment, has a large network of contacts and very good institutional relations. It has not yet been decided what percentage Indra would enter in ITP Aero. Everything indicates that it will be relevant enough to become the first step to create that great defense industrial hub made up of some of the companies in the sector, with the aim of gaining size. Precisely Méndez himself was the one who verbalized that idea of ​​creating a ‘national champion’ in 2010when he was Secretary of State.

Under the presidency of Fernando Abril-Martorell was exclusively negotiated with Rolls Royce to take a controlling position in ITP. However, after weeks of talks, the chief executive gave a turn ‘in extremis’ and got up from the table, giving up the conversations. The British group demanded a price higher than that initially set in exchange for the Spanish company being able to remain as a licensee. This generated some discomfort in the Ministry of Defense, which had pushed for it to be carried out. Two years later, the manufacturer based in the Basque Country once again had the ‘For Sale’ sign, but in this case, Abril-Martorell chose not to enter. It was one of the last straws that filled the camel’s back for his dismissal, driven by Sepi herself.

In this decision, Abril had the logical support of the person in charge of Defense and one of his ‘strong men’ in Indra: Ignatius Mataix. Finally, with the new correlation of forces, the person who today occupies the position of co-CEO -together with Cristina Ruiz- of the semi-public company has been much more inclined to this transaction. Still, his relationship with the Ministry of Defense has not exactly gone through its best moment just as a major operational reorganization is looming following the future appointment of Marc Murtra as CEO.

The F-110, in negotiation

Meanwhile, in the Ministry directed by Margarita Robles continue to work at full capacity with the North American giant Lockheed Martin and the United States Government itself with the aim of fully recover the contract for the manufacture of the digital radar antenna of the five frigates F-110 of the Spanish Navy. According to several knowledgeable sources, the aim is to avoid any type of compensation in the face of the decision of the Americans to try to cancel it in advance (it had a duration of eight years, until 2027) and resume work normally.

To get it the argument of a potential delay in an order to Navantia is also being used. It must be remembered that the latter, a public company in the hands of Sepi, opted not to go directly to Indra, but hired the American company so that it would end up subcontracting to the Spanish company. The project involved more than 150 million euros in orders and the creation of more than a hundred jobs. A final decision is expected before the summer.