(Adds details, background)
MADRID, July 10 The debts of Spanish fishing
firm Pescanova were more than double what it stated
when it entered insolvency proceedings in April, the company
said on Wednesday citing a KPMG audit, making it one of Spain's
biggest ever bankruptcies.
Pescanova's debt was 3.3 billion euros ($4.2 billion) at the
end of December, the company said. This compares with the 1.5
billion euro debt mentioned in the company's insolvency filing.
The former management of Pescanova acted to conceal the
company's true debt position for many years, the audit said.
"During the last few years, accounting practices were
designed and executed to present the group's financial debt as
less than the true position," the company said in a statement,
quoting from the audit.
Manuel Fernandez de Sousa, former chairman of Pescanova, was
removed in April from the helm of the company he had run for
more than three decades.
A court has charged him with falsifying information and
insider trading. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The KPMG audit is a step in an insolvency process that could
take months or years, ending either in liquidation or a plan to
re-float the business.
The group's creditors include Spain's biggest banks as well
as state bank restructuring fund the FROB, which nationalised
the savings banks that lent Pescanova hundreds of millions of
($1 = 0.7778 euros)
(Reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Julien Toyer and