Grifols' “terrible” week on the stock market, where he lost 40% of his value: What awaits him now?

This has been one of the most difficult weeks for the Catalan company Scribbles. The multinational company engaged in the manufacture of plasma-derived drugs fell sharply on the stock market after the publication of a report from the investment fund Gotham City Research that… He accuses the company of falsifying its results To hide the debt statement led to the cancellation of capital of more than 3.2 billion euros.

Was Grifols a victim of speculators or were there actually elements to doubt his solvency? We raised this matter with the professor of economics at Pompeu Fabra University and the manager of the investment fund Xavier Bron.

Gotham move

According to the professor, the Gotham City report comes nextYears of market doubts about the true situation of Grífols. The lack of transparency about some of its operations generated mistrust among investors, which, in a short time, led to the share price falling from €45 to just €10.

Some good feelings have been restored in recent months, but the accusations against investment funds came too soon, while confidence has not yet been fully restored.

Once the report was released, the market value of Grífols declined Gotham took advantage of this to buy back the company's stock Which he had previously sold for a much higher price. In other words, to do business, according to the expert:

“In one day, Gotham earned more than €12 million from Grifols’ actions.”

It is a company, confirms Brun, who, in addition to being a teacher, also managed the buying and selling of shares in this company Irregular maneuver:

“It is market manipulation to favor certain interests.”

Grífols headquarters in San Cugat del Valles (Europa Press/David Zorrakino)

Investors are hesitant

Until then, The Catalan company rejected Gotham's accusations She confirmed that her numbers are clear and that she is able to deal with all the debts she has incurred. Realizing that a lack of transparency had generated this crisis, he responded quickly after the report was published by issuing two press releases and holding a conference with analysts who could relay his questions.

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Brun points out that this was a new idea Missed opportunity To rebuild bridges and that the explanations provided were not sufficient.

“They were interpretations like Grifols's: I give you an answer but it's not very clear, more gray than white or black… when it should be a white or black conference.”

Grifols' debt comes mainly from the purchase of some subsidiaries (for example, in Asia) and from the extra effort it has had to make during the pandemic to continue purchasing plasma (its raw material) which has become significantly more expensive. Another company took over part of these investments and it is this process that raises suspicions in Gotham.

According to the professor, part of the problem is that the numbers provided by the company, even during the recession witnessed this week, are not clear enough.

“It's like a family took on a lot of debt and started selling a lot of stuff to Wallapop. They announced they were going to do it, but they need to get that money.”

The company lost nearly 40% of its market value within a few days

Uncertain future

Investors are not the only ones who have doubts. The National Securities Market Commission, the public body responsible for regulating securities markets, has given Grífols 10 days to explain the company's economic and financial situation in more detail. According to Bron, until the company provides more information, “anything could happen, even if the stock market continues to decline.”

One way to prevent a company's value from continuing to decline is to pause its bidding:

“If Grífols stops trading, speculators will stop moving the company to their liking.”

What is expected during the first quarter of this year is that Grífols will sell its stake in a Chinese subsidiary, which will allow it to confirm its ability to meet its debts.

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Grífols is one of the three companies in the world that manufactures medicines from plasma (CCMA).

heavy weight

As Professor Brun recalls, Grífols is a company of great importance not only in Catalonia, but throughout the world. Its value comes, above all, from its exclusivity: there are only three companies on the planet that make plasma medicines.

“It is very important that the United States considers it strategic for the American economy: not because of the importance of its sales, but because of its products that affect millions of patients.”

Despite its importance, Brun recalls that Grífols is still a family business, with internal dynamics that do not make it easy for outside investors (such as investment funds) to have complete confidence in its management.

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