Abengoa is already a matter of State. After declaring the second largest bankruptcy in the history of Spain, with a debt of 6,000 million euros, and leaving 14,000 jobs in the air, its future necessarily involves a strong involvement of the government central to find a solution to avoid bankruptcy and dissolution.
The sources consulted by Invertia confirm that the involvement of Pedro Sánchez’s government is total and This includes actively participating in its new stage as a bankrupt company, facilitating a climate of understanding, seeking a new refinancing and ordering the company so that it can continue in operation.
The idea is to be able to mediate between the company, the new insolvency administrator, different public institutions and the creditor banks to reach a new agreement. It is even on the table the possibility of facilitating the entrance of the State Society for Industrial Participations (SEPI) in Abengoa.
However, before operating any spring, the government He wants the future of the company’s management to be defined first and to have a management team as interlocutor that its continuity is assured in the medium and long term.
Abengoa define these issues in the Shareholders’ Meeting of next March 4 where the proposal of the minority shareholders is to remove the president Juan Pablo López-Bravo and the counselor Margarida Smith.
The idea is to have a majority in the new council to appoint as new manager Clemente Fernández. Fernández has spent months articulating an alternative proposal to the plan that was defenestrated by the creditor banks on Monday.
The minority o rebels claim to have all the votes necessary to take command of the company, but they fear a last minute move by the current leadership team to stay in power.
The recent investigation launched by the CNMV also plays in their favor of the rebels against Abengoa directors for not presenting the 2019 accounts. These executives are exposed to a fine of up to 300,000 euros.
If the minority win, the idea of the team of Clemente Fernandez is to work in tune with the government and the future insolvency administrator -who should reach the company within a month- to negotiate a new rescue.
For it, Fernández considers that it is a priority to reactivate public aid and request a rescue from SEPI. The original idea was to ask for ICO loans and CESCE guarantees, but companies that have entered creditors’ contests cannot apply for these financing formulas.
New rescue plan
The minority consider that it would take about 250 million euros of the Solvency Support Fund for Strategic Companies. And the Government already knows this because in the last hours there have been informal contacts. The Executive does not see with bad eyes facilitating the granting of an amount of these characteristics.
Abengoa is undoubtedly a strategic company and its project portfolio has been severely affected by the Covid, so it would not be difficult to justify a ransom. In favor of this project also plays the Fernández’s excellent relationship with SEPI, where he is seen as a serious manager with whom you can collaborate in finding solutions.
And the debt? The project of Clemente Fernandez It involves agreeing with the bankruptcy administrator the request for a reduction of 90% of the 6,000 million euros, This is to reduce the debt to about 600 million.
At this point, the market sources consulted by this newspaper indicate thatnte the default due to a possible bankruptcy and collect 10% of the debt, banks could opt for this second alternative.
Faced with the possibility that the insolvency administrator decides to sell assets to pay the debt of 6,000 million, minorities will ask for help from the Government and also from the Junta de Andalucía so that they give their political support to Abengoa keeping the job.
14,000 employees worldwide and 2,500 in Spain alone are the best argument of the minority to block the sale of strategic assets, an opinion that is shared by the administrations.
The company announced this Monday that it could not get the 20 million euros that the Junta de Andalucía nor a new extension to continue trying to obtain them, the key to closing the refinancing agreed by the company with its creditors.
This generated that the creditor banks cancel the process of restructuring your debt and will push the company to declare a new bankruptcy.
During the last weeks, the Group has been negotiating to several bands to obtain these 20 million, essential to close the rescue. Even after negotiating with five funds, Abengoa achieved the commitment of one of them to inject 35 million euros.
However, the ICO blocked the rescue because it prefers to wait to sign the rescue until the meeting promoted by several minorities, scheduled for March 4, takes place. In this situation, Abengoa It did not achieve a new deadline to continue postponing the approval of the rescue already agreed with the creditor banks.