Round Table: Startup acquisition motives of large multinationals

By 10 October 2018 April 29th, 2020 No Comments

We celebrated our latest corporate event at Banco Sabadell with a roundtable, where we invited exceptional speakers from the most important Spanish multinationals, Álvaro Aguirre Burriel, Director of M&A at Telefónica, Diego Díaz Pilas, Head of the Venture Capital Program at Iberdrola and Paula Blázquez Solano, Head of Strategic Investment at Innocells at Banco Sabadell.

We discussed the main motivations that led important Spanish multinationals, such as Telefónica, Iberdrola and Banco Sabadell, to implement corporate development activities through strategic acquisitions in areas of innovation and technology. The speakers shared with the attendees the reasons and examples of recent operations that pushed their companies to start investing in emerging startup programs. They all agreed that their main reasons were linked to the development of competitive advantages in technology, the formalisation of corporate agreements and the expansion of their global footprint, among others. Other issues related to investment criteria, the most useful valuation methodology and the clauses they considered fundamental to protecting their interests in the buying and selling of company shares.

We concluded the roundtable with a conversation regarding the learnings acquired as a result of the successes and failures and a Q&A session in which the speakers responded directly to the questions asked by participants.


  • Welcome. Minute 0:08
  • Presentation of the most recent activities of BStartup (Banco Sabadell). Minute 1:55
  • Summary of the latest from Faraday Venture Partners. Minute 8:02
  • Invitation to the roundtable. Minute 18:44
  • Presentation by Paula Blázquez Solano (Innocells – Banco Sabadell). Minute 19:18
  • Presentation by Álvaro Aguirre Burriel (Telefónica). Minute 19:58
  • Presentation by Diego Díaz Pilas (Iberdrola). Minute 20:44

Round Table Themes

  • Motivations behind the creation of “Corporate Development” departments. Minute 21:26
  • Examples of recent operations and their motivations. Minute 30:26
  • Criteria regarding business volume. Minute 43:50
  • Valuation methodology. Minute 49:40
  • Clauses in share sales contracts. Minute 58:57
  • Successes and failures: Lessons learnt. Minute 1:04:02
  • Q&A. Minute 1:19:13
    • Why doesn’t the acquisition value of a startup correspond to an increase in value of your public company
    • What is your long-term strategic objective with the acquisition of a startup? Do you dispose of any strategic indication from your board of directors of what to do with the startup following the acquisition?
    • What mechanism do you have to detect the most relevant innovation in the startup sector? Do you have any technological tools that you use on a recurring basis?
    • When you buy the startups, do you sell them or do you try to integrate them into your company?
    • What type of startups attract you the most when investing, considering the change that the sector is experiencing?
    • How do you keep track of your competition?
    • How do you overcome internal resistance when developing a project?