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.

A Brief Biography of Rafael Miranda Robredo

Rafael Miranda Robredo was born in Spain in 1949. He graduated from Comillas University 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 at 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.

Business Strategy Post-Deregulation

Prior to 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 presences in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.

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 its conditions for granting approval of the merger in 2001, which led Robredo to withdraw from the deal and focus Endesa’s strategy on continued cost cutting and value creation. Deregulation and liberalization of other European electricity markets in that period inspired a plan for asset sales to capitalize an expansion on the continent but the company encountered resistance from other European nations.

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