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Catalonia and Navarra lead the exodus of companies and Madrid establishes itself as a destination

Of the 1,366 companies that changed their headquarters between January and March, 469 headed for Madrid.

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Catalonia and Navarra lead the exodus of companies and Madrid establishes itself as a destination

Of the 1,366 companies that changed their headquarters between January and March, 469 headed for Madrid. Navarra and Catalonia recorded the largest negative balances, with the net loss of 46 and 32 companies, respectively.

The business fabric is created and destroyed, but it is also transformed, or at least migrates from one region to another in search of a better climate for their business (fiscal, regulatory, political, institutional, legal...). A total of 1,366 companies moved their headquarters from one region to another between January and March of this year, according to a report published yesterday by Informa D

It is 14% less than in the same period of 2021, but 20.8% more than in the previous quarter, showing a reactivation of the business pilgrimage between autonomies, which reached its peak in 2017 and 2108 as a result of the illegal referendum on 1-O in Catalonia, which caused the massive flight of companies from the region. Although this process was mitigated in the following years, it has by no means stopped. In fact, in recent years, Catalonia has been the autonomy that has lost the most business fabric, a hemorrhage that has continued in the first quarter of 2022, despite the fact that Navarra has temporarily dethroned it at the head of this unique ranking of company flight .

Between January and March, 57 companies left Navarra compared to 11 that entered, giving a negative balance of 46, the largest of all the autonomies. Catalonia follows, with the exodus of 225 companies and the arrival of 193, which translates into the loss of another 32 companies that add to the almost 5,000 escaped since 2017.

Saving the distances, Catalonia and Navarra share a climate of political and institutional instability that causes allergy in the business community. The first, entrenched in the procés and in its conflict with the State, and the second with a socialist government supported by the pro-ETA members of EH Bildu and neo-communist formations such as Podemos and Izquierda-Ezquerra, whose ideology is not exactly favorable to private investment or a claim for companies.

On the other side of the balance is Madrid, which year after year is consolidated as the preferred destination for companies that decide to emigrate to another region. Of the 1,366 companies that moved their registered office in the first quarter, 469 did so to Madrid, 34% of the total. The community is not immune to the departure of companies, but usually more enter than leave; Specifically, between January and March, 381 left compared to those 469 that arrived, which leaves a positive balance of 88 companies, the highest among the Autonomous Communities and four times that of the second region with the highest positive balance: the Valencian Community, with 22.

Of the 469 companies that landed in Madrid, 109 came from Catalonia, 23% of the total, compared to the 98 Madrid companies that moved to Catalonia. The second largest transfer to Madrid came from Andalusia, with the transfer of 76 companies. The community of Madrid is establishing itself as a great pole of attraction in business mobility between territories, thanks to its moderate taxation, its political and institutional stability, its legal security, and its network of infrastructures.

But beyond the numbers, there is another factor that increases the importance of these transfers: the size and turnover of some of the companies that decide to move. Thus, the largest change has benefited Madrid, now the new headquarters of Viatris Pharmaceuticals, a company that in 2020 had a turnover of 222 million and decided to leave Catalonia. In exchange, the Catalan community managed to seize the headquarters of Agility Spain, a company linked to the transport sector that earns some 121 million annually, from Madrid.

The fuel distributor Olivia Petroleum moved from Andalusia to Madrid carrying its 118.9 million turnover in its suitcase, while Soluciones de Renting y Movilidad (91 million), a car rental company, changed Catalonia for Madrid, and the fishing company Albacore (78.5 million) Andalusia for the Basque Country.

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