Grupo Agbar

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Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona, SA
TypeSociedad Anónima
FoundedLiège, Belgium (1867 (1867))
Key people
Àngel Simon, Chairman and CEO
ServicesWater treatment and Water supply
Revenue€167.3 million (2006)
OwnerSuez Environnement and CaixaBank
Number of employees
25,000 (2006)

Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona, SA. (Agbar) is a Spanish company specialized in the distribution and treatment of water.


The company was founded in 1867 in Liège as Compagnie des Eaux de Barcelone by an investor from France and Spain.

In 1979, Ricard Fornesa (who became La Caixa's president in 2003) was named President of Agbar.[1]

A joint acquisition bid by Suez (now Suez Environnement) and Criteria CaixaCorp, concluded in January 2008, resulted in the two companies controlling around 90% of Agbar's shares. Suez and Criteria have stated that they do not intend to delist Agbar from the Madrid Stock Exchange, instead gradually increasing the free float percentage of the company's shares from ten to thirty percent with two years.[2][3] Ángel Simón became executive President of the company.[4] In July 2015, Suez bought the 24,14% that La Caixa held in Agbar.[5]

In September 2005, the Grupo Agbar inaugurated its new headquarters, the Torre Agbar in Barcelona designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel.[6] In 2013, the group sold the Torre Agbar to the high-end hotel chain Hyatt for an amount estimated around 150 million euros.[7] In January 2017, Merlin Entertainments acquired the tower.[8]

In July 2013, the Grupo Agbar completed the acquisition of 78% of its domestic competitor Companyia d'Aigües de Sabadell (Cassa) for 24 million euros.[9]

In October 2017, the headquarters of the company were moved from the Torre Agbar in Barcelona to the Torre de Cristal in Madrid following the political turmoil in Catalonia.[10][11] In July 2019, Suez was considering selling the Grupo Agbar back to the consortium Caixa-Criteria.[12]


The group is present in North America, South America, Asia and Europe. The headquarters are in Madrid and the chairman is Àngel Simon.

Agbar is constituted by more than 230 companies and with more than 140 years of history. Agbar is specialized in the services of health, certification, construction and communications networks.

See also[edit]

Torre Agbar in Barcelona, the group's headquarters from 2005 to 2017.


  1. ^ Vozpópuli (2014-03-01). "Fallece Ricard Fornesa, expresidente de Agbar y gran impulsor de La Caixa". Vozpópuli (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  2. ^ "Suez, Criteria plan for 30 pct Agbar free float". Reuters. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  3. ^ País, Ediciones El (2009-10-22). "Aguas de Barcelona pasa hoy a manos del grupo francés Suez". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  4. ^ "Ángel Simón reorganiza la cúpula de Agbar, Empresas,". Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  5. ^ Press, Europa (2014-09-17). "Economía/Empresas.- Suez cierra la compra del 24,14% de Agbar que poseía La Caixa". Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  6. ^ "Los reyes inauguran la Torre Agbar, nuevo icono urbanístico de Barcelona". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  7. ^ "Un grupo inversor compra la torre Agbar para abrir un hotel Grand Hyatt". La Vanguardia. 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  8. ^ "La inmobiliaria Merlín compra la Torre Agbar, que ya no será un hotel". La Vanguardia. 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  9. ^ Saborit, Sergi (2013-07-16). "Agbar se hace con el 78% del capital de Cassa por 24 millones de euros". Expansión (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  10. ^ Sala, Agustí (2017-10-07). "El Grupo Agbar decide llevar su sede social a Madrid". elperiodico (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  11. ^ "La Sociedad General Aguas de Barcelona traslada su sede social a Madrid". La Vanguardia. 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  12. ^ "La participación de Criteria en Suez vale 466 millones de euros, mientras que el valor de Agbar se calcula en 2.664 millones. Es decir, Criteria precisaría de fondos que aportaran los 2.200 millones restantes". Hispanidad (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-08-08.

External links[edit]