Who Is Rafael Miranda Robredo?

Rafael Miranda Robredo served as CEO of Endesa, one of Spain’s largest electric utilities. He led the company during Spain’s deregulation of the electricity sector.

Key Takeaways

  • Rafael Miranda Robredo is the former CEO of Spanish electric utility Endesa.
  • After the deregulation of the electricity market sector, Robredo acquired other electric companies and expanded into Latin America.
  • With antitrust issues looming and unfavorable conditions from the Spanish government, Robredo his offer to acquire Spain's other leading electric company, Iberdrola.
  • Under Robredo's leadership, Endesa was listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.
  • In 2005, Endesa successfully defended itself against Gas Natural in a hostile takeover.
Rafael Miranda Robredo

Alison Czinkota / Investopedia

Early Life and Education

Rafael Miranda Robredo was born in Burgos, Spain in 1949. He graduated from Comillas University in 1973 with an industrial engineering degree and earned a master’s in management science from the Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI).

During his early career, he served in executive management at Tudor, an electrical battery manufacturer, and the Spanish multinational food brand Campofrío. Robredo joined Endesa in 1987, serving as general manager and managing director until he became the company’s CEO in 1997.

Notable Accomplishments

Leading Endesa

Before the liberalization of the electricity market in 1998, the Spanish government imposed a strict regulatory regime and guaranteed profits for electricity providers. In 1998, Spain deregulated the industry and introduced plans to privatize Endesa. These changes would introduce market competition and remove the minimum profit guarantees the company had enjoyed previously.

In preparation for these moves, Robredo spearheaded a diversification strategy. The company purchased Retevisión, a major Spanish landline telephone operator, in 1997. Between 1997 and 1998, the company streamlined its costs, beginning a four-year, 36% reduction of the company’s labor force and combining its distribution units to gain cost synergies.

Under Robredo’s leadership, Endesa also expanded its reach into Latin America. Major moves included the purchase of a 26% share of Enersis, the largest Latin American utility company. The company also developed a presence in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.

In 2000, Endesa was selected for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and reappeared on the European Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Failed Merger With Iberdrola

In 2000, Robredo attempted to merge Endesa with Spain’s other dominant electric utility, Iberdrola. The deal quickly became entangled in antitrust issues. The government issued strict conditions for approving the merger in 2001, which led Robredo to withdraw from the deal and focus Endesa’s strategy on continued cost-cutting and value creation. Such conditions included selling off some of its generating capacity allowing new entrants into the market and reducing its market share.

Deregulation and liberalization of other European electricity markets in that period inspired a plan for asset sales to capitalize on an expansion on the continent but the company encountered resistance from other European nations.

Enel's Acquisition of Endesa

After Endesa fended off a hostile public tender offer from Gas Natural in 2005, E.ON of Germany and two Spanish concerns, Enel and Acciona, acquired shares in the firm. Following a series of tender offers, equity swaps, and other maneuverings, Enel and Acciona made a successful tender offer for the company in 2007. Enel eventually acquired Acciona’s shares in 2009, becoming the company’s majority shareholder. Robredo retired as CEO of Endesa in 2009.

How Did Rafael Miranda Robredo Prepare Endesa for the Spanish Electric Market Deregulation?

To prepare for the influx of competitors and remain profitable after Spain liberalized the electric utility industry, Robredo acquired other utility companies, such as Spanish landline telephone operator Retevisión, and significantly cut costs with layoffs and changes to its distribution units.

When Did Rafael Miranda Robredo Act as CEO of Endesa?

Robredo served as CEO of Endesa, one of Spain's largest electricity providers, from 1997 to 2009. He led the company through the country's deregulation period, expanding operations in other countries and increasing profits.

Why Did Rafael Robredo Withdraw Endesa's Offer to Acquire Iberdrola?

The Spanish government imposed strict conditions on Endesa to merge with Iberdrola. Such conditions, such as reducing its market share, were to encourage and make possible other companies to compete. However, the conditions made it cost-prohibitive and compromised the outcomes the agreement was sought to create. As a result, Robredo withdrew from the deal.

The Bottom Line

Rafael Miranda Robredo is a Spanish businessman and former CEO of Endesa, one of Spain's largest electric utility companies. He is credited for expanding Endesa's footprint into Latin America and positioning the company as an industry leader after Spain's liberalization of the electric market. After serving 12 years as CEO, Robredo retired from Endesa in 2009.

Article Sources
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  1. Reference for Business. "Rafael Miranda Robredo."

  2. Endesa. "Presence in Sustainability Indices and Ratings."

  3. Wall Street Journal. "Endesa and Iberdrola Cancel Merger, Citing Strict Government Conditions."

  4. Enel. "Enel Completes Acquisition of 25.01% of Endesa."

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