The famous Spanish cava company Freixenet decided on Tuesday to keep its headquarters in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Catalonia, after its council noted a “change in the political and legal situation in Catalonia over the past couple of days.”
The Freixenet council celebrated the “affirmation” of constitutional order and calls for the return of normalcy
The president of the Freixenet Group, José Luis Bonet, recently expressed his intention to move the headquarters to outside Catalonia, motivated by the independence movement and the declaration of independence voted in the Parliament last Friday. However, the “affirmation of constitutional and statutory order” from the application of Article 155 of the Constitution has changed the cava company’s opinion.
In a brief statement, the Freixenet board celebrated the “affirmation” of constitutional order and called for the return of normality. The board emphasized “the need to recover a positive economic dynamic that has been seriously questioned in the past two months, as soon as possible.”
Therefore, according to the statement, “the recovery of economic normality, in Catalonia and Spain, advises against moving headquarters under these new circumstances, as Freixenet is a Catalan company and, consequently, Spanish.”
Freixenet employs 1,400 workers, most of them at the Sant Sadurní d’Anoia winery and headquarters. However, the other major cava company from this region, the Codorníu Raventós group, announced the change of location, from Barcelona to the town of Haro, in La Rioja, a wine region in northern Spain.
Capital flight in Catalonia
The pace of companies electing to leave Catalonia has slowed since regional elections were called. On Monday, the first working day after the activation of Article 155, only 62 companies announced plans to move: less than half the number seen the previous Friday (140).
As of the end of October, 1,883 companies had already changed their registered addresses. The push to leave began on October 9 and reached its peak 10 days later, when in a single day 268 companies announced their decision to quit the region.
Bonet has been one of the businessmen most critical of the independence process and its economic consequences. The president of Freixenet called on Catalan leaders more than one occasion “to return to the path of the Constitution” and “not to disturb the positive cycle of the economy.” “If independence takes place, which I do not believe it will, we will be a Spanish multinational that operates in Catalonia,” Bonet said before the regional parliament voted.
Freixenet, managed by the Bonet, Ferrer and Hevia families, was founded in 1914, becoming one of the largest companies in the cava industry. After years of economic difficulties and governance problems, the group had a turnover of €529 million in 2016, 5.1% more than the previous year.
English version by Debora Almeida.