Insolvent Spanish fish firm Pescanova lands deal with creditors

Tue Mar 4, 2014 7:04am EST

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MADRID, March 4 (Reuters) - The creditors of insolvent Spanish fishing firm Pescanova have agreed to accept losses of up to 90 percent on loans to the company as part of a plan to refloat the firm and avoid liquidation.

Pescanova's main shareholders, Barcelona-based brewer Damm and investment firm Luxempart have now submitted the creditor-backed plan as a consortium for approval from the mercantile court of Pontevedra, northern Galicia, where the frozen fish producer is based, the company said on Tuesday.

If the court accepts the current plan, creditor banks would become majority shareholders of a new company to be called "Nueva Pescanova" with a 34.6 percent stake, while Damm and Luxempart would be leading industrial partners with 30 percent.

A previous consortium proposal that included private equity firm KKR and investment group Ergon Capital Partners has not gone ahead.

Pescanova, a household name in Spain, filed for insolvency last year after auditors uncovered debts of 3.6 billion euros ($5 billion), triple the amount the firm had recognised under its former management and making it one of Spain's biggest bankruptcies.

The latest proposal calls for a haircut on debt of between 60 and 90 percent and a 150 million-euro capital injection, comprising 112.5 million euros in new financing to be provided by creditors and the Damm and Luxempart consortium.

It also includes a 37.5 million-euro new share issue for existing shareholders, with a separate, unspecified tranche reserved for the consortium.

Of the remaining capital, 30.4 percent will be offered to Pescanova's other existing shareholders, while the Pescanova group will hold 4.99 percent in exchange for handing over its stakes in the Spanish unit for the new company.

Debt at the new company, which would group together all of Pescanova's Spanish businesses, would stand at 812.5 million euros, excluding borrowings at international divisions.

Pescanova's creditor banks include Sabadell, Popular, Caixabank and nationalised lender NovaGalicia. It is unknown how much of the debt is held by the banks. ($1=0.7260 euros) (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski and Andres Gonzalez; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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