February 5, 2019 / 2:21 PM / in 5 months

Brazil fertilizer firm Heringer files for bankruptcy protection

SAO PAULO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Brazilian fertilizer company Fertilizantes Heringer SA has said it is filing for bankruptcy protection, closing down nine plants in Brazil and laying off their workers.

Heringer, among the largest players in the Brazilian fertilizer market with annual output of around 6 million tonnes, explained in a securities filing late on Monday that its liquidity situation deteriorated recently, leading to the decision.

Reuters last week reported that the company was closing down 10 installations including plants and regional offices, and laying off an unspecified number of workers.

Heringer had some 3,000 employees and 2.9 billion reais ($789.59 million) in debt, according to its third quarter earnings release.

The company said it engaged in talks in the last few months aimed at improving its debt profile, as well as with potential investors aimed at boosting cash flow, but neither were fruitful.

Its bankruptcy request was filed in a court in Paulínia, an industrial city near Sao Paulo, where Heringer is headquartered.

Among the plants it closed are ones located in key agricultural regions in Brazil such as Rondonópolis (Mato Grosso), Dourados (Mato Grosso do Sul), Uberaba (Minas Gerais) and Rio Verde (Goiás).

It also closed its unit in the port city of Paranaguá (Paraná).

$1 = 3.6728 reais Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by David Gregorio

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