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Other shareholders, including the old Pescanova or the Broadbill fund, had challenged it

Nueva Pescanova will increase capital after canceling the refinancing of 643 million

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 18:00 (GMT + 9)

The Commercial Court number 1 of Pontevedra has annulled the approval of the agreement signed in August to refinance 643 million.

Nueva Pescanova makes a move after the justice has annulled the refinancing that the company signed in August with some of its creditors, including Abanca, and which was contemplating capitalizing around 643 million euros of debt. An agreement that received judicial approval but that other shareholders, including the old Pescanova or the Broadbill fund, challenged.

The Mercantill Court number 1 of Pontevedra has partially agreed with them, understanding that the necessary majorities were not reached among the shareholders to approve the agreement, an argument used by Broadbill. Pescanova SA, which has 1.65% of Nueva Pescanova's capital, argued that the agreement represented a breach of bankruptcy law and that it entailed the de-patrimonialization of the second's creditors and partners in favor of Abanca. The resolution says the plan presented by Nueva Pescanova did not impose a "disproportionate" sacrifice on creditors and was justified to safeguard the company's viability.

Faced with this situation, Nueva Pescanova has announced that it will convene a shareholders' meeting to propose a voluntary capital increase with which to cover those 643 million that have remained without refinancing. As the company explained in a statement, "it will summon its partners and creditors to carry out a voluntary debt capitalization, in order to ensure the future viability of the company and the fulfillment of its business plan." The objective, in principle, will be to cover that amount, although the company explains that it will depend on the response of the creditors. In practice, it is a way of executing the agreement reached with Abanca, which is the owner of 80% of the share capital of Nueva Pescanova.

The financial entity took control of the food group last March, after acquiring a 39.8% shareholding package from Sabadell and Caixabank, which raised its stake to 80.46%. Then the financial institution announced that among its plans was the reinforcement of its financial structure and also the search for an industrial partner to guarantee the viability of the company. In April the Nueva Pescanova board of directors appointed José María Benavent as the new executive president.

In addition to the refinancing aborted by the court, the company had to undertake a capital reduction of 78 million last June to avoid the cause of dissolution, after closing the 2019 financial year with losses of 49 million that broke its equity balance.



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