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Pescanova planning to sell assets in Chile to reorganize finances

Friday, March 22nd 2013 - 06:36 UTC
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The Spanish company has abundant assets in Chile’s salmon farming industry The Spanish company has abundant assets in Chile’s salmon farming industry

The main creditor banks of the Galician multinational firm Pescanova, (which is under a probe from the Spanish stock market regulator), argue that the only way the firm can reorganize its financial situation is through the total or partial sale of its subsidiary in Chile by means of a Preventive Judicial Agreement.

Banks met on Wednesday in Madrid to take “the first steps” in order to set a common strategy for the Spanish company’s debt renegotiation.

For the creditor banks, Pescanova’s liabilities would be around EUR 2.6 billion, compared to the EUR 1.5bn reported in September last year. This is the main friction issue between the bank and the company, the newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.

The banks have granted a 10 day-period to the multinational firm for it to present the detailed financial status and the debt map.

Regarding the judicial agreement, Pescanova could sell PescaChile, parent company of the holding grouping the salmon firm Acuinova Chile, Nova Austral and the recently acquired firm Cultivos Marinos Chiloé, the Chilean newspaper Diario Financiero reported.

While there is no official information, it is estimated that PescaChile’s debt would be about 200 million dollars, which is an inferior figure to the cash flow. This company is still profitable and in production terms, it is one of the largest one on the market.

On the other hand, there is a possibility of organising a second special board, after the one developed on 14 March. That day the confrontation between Pescanova chairman Manuel Fernández de Sousa, with a 14.4% stake and the Damm Group, which is the second largest shareholder of the company, with 6.1% emerged publicly, the agency EFE reported.

“In the last council there were many unanswered questions because no data was provided and no vote was cast,” explained representatives of the firm Damm.

Pescanova shares remain suspended by the Spanish stock market regulator CNMV. The stock lost 58% this year before trading was halted March 12. The regulator said March 11 it will investigate Pescanova to determine whether there are signs of improper trading by the company, its management or third parties.

CNMV has requested that the company submit earnings for the second half of 2012 as soon as possible as well as additional information including on assets and debt, it said.

Pescanova, which has about 10,000 employees and a presence in more than 20 countries, counts more than 100 vessels and almost 50 fish-farming plants among its assets, according to the company’s Website. (FIS/MP).-

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