Abengoa saved from bankruptcy, 25 year of global family business comes to an end

business.conbio.info/2016-08–18/  Spain’s energy giant Abengoa, struggling under a billions-strong debt pile, announced August 11 it had reached a deal with creditors and investors allowing it to ward off bankruptcy.

The restructuring, includ a debt-for-equity swap for creditors. At the end of the restructuring process, the current shareholders in the company would hold around 5 per cent of the share capital. Under the terms of the deal, Abengoa will receive €1.17bn in funds, made up of fresh investment as well as the rollover of existing credit facilities. In addition, Abengoa will be able to call on a new credit facility worth €307m.

Abengoa had, according to a Spanish court order in April 2016, until October 28 to strike a debt restructuring agreement, after announcing in November last year that it was filing for preliminary protection from creditors.  The agreement has yet, at a meeting September 30, to be confirmed by 70 percent of the shareholders.

Abengoa a world player in solar and wind power, biofuels and water management has already launched a recovery plan as it seeks to reduce its debt burden which stood at 8.7 billion euros at the end of last year. This includes the sale of biofuels assets and other non-strategic holdings, as well as job cuts. The company has already shed more than a third of its global workforce since the beginning of 2016.

Abengoa is a family-owned company founded 75 years ago, It rose from being a local electrical firm, fixing installations damaged in Spain’s 1936-1939 civil war, to a major player in renewables. The company has now undergone a sweeping change at the top, with Felipe Benjumea (photo) stepping down from his post as executive chairman, after 25 years on the job. Once the dominant shareholder, the Benjumea family will see its influence over the group vastly reduced. Abengoa is now led by a new management team, with Antonio Fornieles Melero as executive president and Joaquin Fernández de Piérola Marín as chief executive.

Commitment letters have been received on behalf of certain investors including Abrams Capital, The Baupost Group, Canyon Capital Advisors, Centerbridge Partners, the D. E. Shaw group, Elliott Management, Hayfin Capital Management, KKR Credit, Oaktree Capital Management and Värde. Also, a commitment letter executed by a group of Credit Entities including Banco Popular, Banco Santander, Bankia, CACIB and CaixaBank has been received.

business.conbio.info/2016-08–18/Lennart Ljungblom