La Caixa, the controlling shareholder of Gas Natural, wants to transform its subsidiary's hostile bid to take over Endesa into a friendly acquisition.

According to a report by the Financial Times, La Caixa, the largest savings bank in Spain, is exploring ways to turn Gas Natural’s hostile attempt to buy out fellow utility Endesa into a friendly deal in order to score some much needed PR points.

Gas Natural’s E22.5 billion move for Endesa has not been popular in Spain, particularly with the board of the pursued energy provider. La Caixa is already viewed nervously in Spain because of the perceived weight of its influence on the country’s economy.

Therefore the bank is keen to sweeten the proposed take over because it is in turn nervous that added bad press from its involvement in the hostile pursuit of Endesa could negatively affect its core banking business.

A senior La Caixa executive told the Financial Times: We are backing Gas Natural’s bid to the hilt. At the same time, we would prefer to be able to redirect the bid in a more friendly fashion. The degree of hostility it has generated is uncomfortable for all of us.

Meanwhile, Endesa’s head man Rafael Miranda has hinted that his company would consider negotiating with Gas Natural if it withdraws its hostile bid.