During a speech to analysts and investors, Rafael Miranda, Endesa's CEO, referred to the two takeover bids for the company and stressed that the board's responsibility is to defend the legitimate interests of the company's large shareholder community.

We have attempted to maximize the company’s value so it has been, and is, essential for us to firmly defend our business project as this is the bedrock of our company and best guarantee for the stock, Mr Miranda said at the conference in Mallorca.

Mr Miranda went on to highlight the company’s strong position in the electricity market both at home and abroad, with Italy and Latin America seen as especially successful international ventures for the firm.

Endesa has been the subject of a lengthy and often contentious takeover battle. Compatriot Gas Natural has won the support of the Spanish government for its E22 billion cash and shares offer, which has been rejected by Endesa. A bigger all cash offer from German heavyweight E.ON, valued at E29.1 billion, was not welcomed by Endesa’s board and with outright hostility by the Madrid government, which would prefer the creation of a national energy champion.

The EU has subsequently criticized Madrid for attempting to engineer the Gas Natural-Endesa tie-up in breach of European competition rules, and enforcement action from Brussels is a distinct possibility. The Gas Natural bid is currently in limbo however after a Spanish court suspended it after a technical appeal was lodged by Endesa.

Currently Gas Natural is trying to negotiate a way out of the legal impasse, although the terms of the suspension mean that it cannot at present withdraw the bid.