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In New York, NASDAQ shares in Abengoa SA (ABGB)
plunged 49% in Wednesday trading after the embattled renewable
energy developer said it would seek bankruptcy protection as it
seeks to reorganize nearly $9.4 billion in debt. The protective
filing was announced after an expected infusion of nearly $300
million from Spanish steelmaker Gonvarri did not materialize.
The company’s debt had been previously downgraded to a B3 rating
by Moody’s, six rungs on the ladder beneath investment grade. Last
week, Moody’s described the company’s cash reserves as
“insufficient” and expressed that asset sales and a round of
investment by existing backers would not be enough to stabilize
the company’s finances.
Abengoa in an
SEC filing Wednesday stated:
“In relation to the Material Fact
(Hecho relevante) of November 6, 2015 (No. 230768) concerning
the framework agreement entered into with Gonvarri Corporación
Financiera (“Gonvarri”), the Company announces that it has
received notice from Gonvarri that the framework agreement is
terminated considering that the conditions to which that
agreement was subject have not been satisfied.
“The Company will continue
negotiations with its creditors with the objective of reaching
an agreement that ensures the Company’s financial viability,
under the protection of article 5 bis of the Spanish Insolvency
Law (Ley Concursal) , which the Company intends to apply for as
soon as possible.”
The company did not elaborate on the problems in meeting
Gonvarri’s conditions. At the time of the announcement of the
proposed investment, which would have made Gonvarri the largest
shareholder in Abengoa, the
companies said that “the Investment Agreement is subject to
certain conditions such as the standby underwriting of the share
capital increase by the underwriters announced on September 24th,
2015 continuing to be in force and the signing of a substantial
package of financial support in favour of the Company by a group
of financial institutions.”
The company developed the 25 million gallons cellulosic ethanol
facility in Hugoton, Kansas, and is a major operator of ethanol
and biodiesel production assets in the US and Europe.
was originally published.
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