By Jason Moore WE often talk about British investment in Spain; even the smallest British companies which set up here get its fair share of publicity. But the corporate strength of Spain is clearly underlined by the fact that leading British companies are now in Spanish hands. Last year there were two important take-overs of FTSE-100 companies by firms which are household names in Spain; Telefonica bought mobile company O2, and the Banco Santander swallowed up, Abbey. These were headline purchases but it is also interesting to see that a leading Spanish building firm also owns a number of UK airports and some of the building work on the London Underground is being carried out by a Madrid-based construction company. Corporate Spain is in very good shape and there are plenty of rumours that further British buys are on the horizon. It is quite clear that Spanish firms can make a success of it in Britain but the same can't be said for the bigger British firms in Spain. Marks and Spencers pulled out and there have been other failed operations by British companies here. It is quite amazing that in just 30 years some of Spain's leading companies are now in position to go on the offensive abroad. The Spanish miracle is certainly very evident on British high streets and by all accounts the British buy-up by the Spanish armada will continue.
The Spanish armada
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